So the family and I were off to a Washington National’s game last week and naturally one of the first thoughts to cross my mind was, “How am I going to find a healthy, vegetarian dinner at a baseball game??”
Most stadiums and arenas have tightened up their security and no longer allow you bring in your own food or drinks. Unless you plan on running the bases yourself, it helps to plan ahead. With a little work, you can keep from striking out on your healthy diet while enjoying a game.
“Scope out the field”- If you do a little detective work and pull up the “concession” tab at your home team’s stadium, you will find a listing of all of the food vendors. Tying to find healthy and vegetarian food takes some research. The National’s stadium link had a tab for “Vegetarian Options”
So first I had to rule out:
Cheese fries, pretzel bites, Popcorn, salty jalapeno chocolate bar, donuts, apple pie and ice cream sundaes.
Although technically vegetarian, obviously not too healthy. I then found some possibilities worth further investigating. Most of the vendors are outposts of local restaurants so you may be able to look up their nutritional info at their main locations before arriving.
One “All star” choice was “Hard Times Cafe’s Vegetarian chili”. I checked their site and found out that a 3/4 cup serving had 130 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 960 grams of sodium. The sodium content obviously “out of the ballpark” for what I would normally eat but a good choice to consider if it wasn’t 90 degrees out. There were options to add cheese, onions, peppers etc. I give it a “Hit” as a pretty good option.
A few of the burger stands had “veggie burger” options. It wasn’t clear to me which brands they were or how they were prepared. Sometimes they will just throw them on the same grill as the beef burgers and they can be greasy. Most were served on regular white bread buns.
1. purchase a side salad and pile it onto the burger so at least you’re getting some veggies.
2. Remove the burger from the bun and add it onto a side salad. Pile on hot salsa instead of dressing. Sometimes you can find vinegar as well.
I saw a “Sloppy Jane” sandwich made with tofu and had to try it. It was super salty and had no vegetables in it. Nice try but “strike” for me.
There was a Mexican stand with “Veggie Quesadillas” which just looked and sounded a little too greasy for me. “Strike two”.
Then I came across a Middle Eastern stand with Falafel and a “cauliflower sandwich”. After asking a few different people, I discovered the cauliflower was indeed battered and fried “Strike 3”.
The Falafel looked promising. I ended up getting it and removing half of the pita bread. It did have some tomatoes, lettuce and cucumbers in it. I purchased a side of hummus and added that into the pita with a little hot sauce. “Hit”. It was a filling dinner with protein, veggies and carbs. Of course, I have no idea on the sodium content so not a Home Run, but it seemed like my best choice at the time.
There was also a Gluten Free stand with chip and cracker options. Note: Gluten Free does not always mean healthy in the same way the Vegetarian does not always mean healthy. Cue the fries and ice cream sundaes! My sandwich was more than filling and I didn’t need anything else to eat that night.
I came across this list of the healthiest options (Health Magazine) at some of the major Baseball Stadiums hopefully it will help you search out the best options in your city.
With a little research and a little creativity, you can put together a Game Plan & eat healthy while enjoying America’s Game.
What tips do you have for me? How do you stick to your Game Plan at sporting events?