While part of the food ritual of a baseball game is enjoying a hot dog and nachos, if you’re batting up for some healthier options, you’re in luck. Some Major League Baseball parks have started offering better-for-you baseball fare. If the Little League has stolen your attention this season, you have even more control over what snacks will fuel your game. Check out these ballpark food options for a healthier home run.
The new At Bat app, which is available in about one-third of MLB parks, allows you to have sushi delivered to your seat. Not only will you be able to eat healthier, you’ll save loads of time waiting in the concession lines. A low-fat food containing bite-size amounts of lean protein, carbs, and even vegetables, sushi is healthier than most other baseball fare. Choose veggie sushi for a light snack or a salmon roll for something more filling. For the Little League game, try making kid-friendly sushi-style wraps by rolling a whole-wheat tortilla filled with lean protein and veggies and cutting it into sushi-size rounds.
While boiled peanuts in their shells are a classic ballpark treat— and are certainly one of the more nutritious options in the stadium, in-shell pistachios are now available at many MLB parks. One of the lowest-fat, lowest-calorie snack nuts, pistachios are a good source of protein and fiber and offer the most nuts per serving as compared to other snack nuts. Plus, cracking open the shells means they take longer to eat, and will encourage you to be more conscious of what you’ve eaten, making them a mindful munch, inning after inning.
Healthier sandwich options
Many stadiums now offer sandwich options that will satisfy without weighing you down. For example, Dodger Stadium offers a "healthy choice" chicken verde sandwich where a grilled chicken breast is served on telera bread (similar to French bread) with shredded lettuce, tomato slice, tomatillo verde sauce and jalapeño aioli. At Fenway Park you can get a “healthy choice” turkey sandwich, as well as veggie burger and veggie dog options. When packing your own sandwiches, start with a lean protein like chicken or turkey and load up on extra veggies for nutrition, hydration and crunch.
Roasted corn is available at some MLB parks and can be a great option for a nutrient-packed snack. One ear of corn has about 3.5 grams of fiber, and is also a good source of potassium. Keep in mind that some corn options are going to come heavy with butter, cheese, or sometimes mayonnaise. For a lighter option, look for corn that you can get plain or with chili powder.
DIY healthy snacks
Most stadiums allow guests to bring in soft-sided coolers that do not exceed 16 by 16 by 8 inches square and must be stored under the seat. To save money and feel better about what you’re eating, pack your own healthy stash like whole-grain sandwich wraps and healthy finger foods -- like sliced oranges, strawberries, grapes, nuts, sliced bell peppers, air-popped popcorn, and sugar snap peas. These foods work great for the big stadiums as well as the your little slugger’s game.
Eating nachos out of plastic baseball hats is definitely a ballpark exclusive, but lately stadiums have been upping the nutrition factor of their crunchy treats to go. From Melissa’s Fresh for You in Angel Stadium to a fruit cart at Fenway, nearly every major stadium is now reliably stocking fresh fruit and vegetable options for kids and adults alike. An easy way to find out what options your local stadium features is to research what vegetarian options are stocked by each park and go from there. For the Little League game, sliced fruit or fruit kabobs are a fun and portable choice for kids and adults.
Relationship disclosure: Patricia Bannan, MS, RDN works with the Wonderful Company to help people make smart snacking choices.