Butter?  Soda? Bacon?  Candy Bars? Chicken? Marshmallows? Eggs?

What do these things have in common?

They are all served on a stick!

It’s that time of year again, where thousands of people flock to their state and country fairs, in part, to eat everything imaginable…on a stick!  From your traditional corn dogs and ice cream bars to your non-traditional chocolate covered chunky bacon maple nougat (yes, this is a real thing), you can basically find anything on a stick.  However, for those who are food conscious or just don’t want to feel deathly ill by the end of the night, are there healthy “food on a stick” options?

Cotton Candy:  Could also be known as “Fluffy  Sugar,” is actually a better buy, calorie wise, than those enticing fried snickers you are eying! Since cotton candy is purely sugar, it packs about 220 calories and 3 grams of protein for a 2.1 ounce serving.

Corn Dogs: Yes, it is a processed meat covered in cornmeal batter, fried, and put on a stick.  However, if you can get past the 460 calories, 19 grams total fat, and 973 milligrams of sodium (for a small corn dog) it has  redeemable qualities such as it 17 grams of protein, 34 percent daily value of iron, and 10 percent daily value of calcium.

Carmel Apples: Bonus, you have a fruit in hand! Great job! That means you will be consuming  a handful of fiber, potassium, vitamin A, C and K.  J However, depending upon the size of the apple and what extra “stuff” (candy, nuts, sprinkles, etc.) are on the outside of the apple, don’t think you can pass go and collect your $200.  Caramel apples still contain over 280 calories with 50+grams of sugar.

Corn on the Cob: A fair staple and a great choice!  A small ear of corn is about 89 calories and includes 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and plenty of potassium.  As a disclaimer, this is plain corn on the cob that is NOT drenched in butter, bacon fat, or fried.

Caprese Salad on a Stick: A winner due to the protein from the cheese, lycopene/antioxidants from the tomato, and vitamin A from the basil.  With that nutrition profile, it’s okay to go back for a second stick!

Even though it is evident that fairs are known for their creative, unhealthy, options, eating unhealthy fair food once a year won’t cause too much damage.  So go out, attend your state or county fair, and find something new and inventive to try!