Healthy Eating on the Boardwalk

Healthy Eating on the Boardwalk


By Catherine Cioffi, BS, Contributing Blogger

For many people, summer means beach time. For me, that beach has always been the Jersey Shore. Along with the sun and surf, the boardwalk is also an essential part of a beach vacation at the Jersey Shore. Some go to the boardwalk for the rides, others go for the games, and everyone goes to enjoy the food. But many of these delicious boardwalk treats are loaded with calories and fat—many more than you may think.

Nutrition Lowdown: Savory Goodies

  • Sausage and Peppers Sandwich: a savory combo of Italian sausage with sauteed peppers and onions.

Nutrition Info: 860 calories, 45 grams fat, 21 grams saturated fat.

  • Chili Cheese Dogs: an “All-American” boardwalk classic, regardless the state you are in.

Nutrition Info: 620 calores, 44 grams fat.

  • Pizza: another warm, cheesy option.

Nutrition Info: 290 calories, 10 grams fat; 4.5 grams saturated fat (average slice of plain cheese)

Nutrition Lowdown: Sweets

  • Funnel Cake: a deep-fried dough “cake” covered with powdered sugar

Nutrition Info: 780 calories; 36 grams fat, 18 grams saturated fat

  • Kohr’s Bros Frozen Custard: as they say, “The Original Still Tastes the Best!”

Nutrition info: Custard 260-280 calories per cup; Sherbet: 200 calories per cup.

  • Homemade Fudge and Salt-water Taffy: for those craving a sweet snack.

Nutrition Info: 140-150 calories (for 1.4 oz Fudge OR 4 pieces Taffy):

Healthy Eating Tips

So what’s a girl to do on vacation? Eating healthy is about balance, and vacations are a time when we should relax and enjoy ourselves. But that doesn’t mean you need to get completely out of control! Here are ways to enjoy boardwalk treats, while still being mindful:

  1. Purchase in moderation: complete restriction is never a good idea. Many dietitians recommend occasional treats to satisfy those sweet or savory cravings, and prevent overdosing. While on the boardwalk, one idea is to choose one indulgence per day.
  2. Be mindful of portions: Order the small size whenever possible, or share with friends or family (especially those treats that are ridiculously high in calories).  One cake, sandwich, or pizza pie is often more than enough for two or three people!
  3. Limit extra sources of fat or added sugar:
  • For the savory foods: stick to the classics, and limit the additional toppings and sauces to easily cut calories. For example, forego the cheese on the chili cheese dog. This will easily save 100 calories. Instead, choose lower-calorie toppings like mustard or relish.
  • For the sweet treats: a dusting of powdered sugar on the funnel cake (about 2 tablespoons) adds 60 calories. For the frozen custard, 1 tablespoon of sprinkles adds 60 calories, and a “chocolate dip” adds about 140 calories. Instead, opt for plain or just pick one topping. Or, make it a “banana split” to sneak in some fresh fruit!

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