Dave & I watched Michigan State play the University of Michigan this weekend in baseball. We left after the 7th inning even though the score was 7-7. MSU ended up winning in the 13th inning. I forgot how slow baseball games could be! Something that amazed me was how much money the guy in front of me spent on food from the concession stands. He had two sons with him that looked about 9 or 10 years old and during the course of the game they bought 3 slices of pizza ($7.50), cracker jacks ($4), three sodas ($7.50), and two nachos with cheese ($6). They spent $25 just on food, and that was at a college baseball game! Dave’s been talking about going to see the Detroit Tigers play sometime this summer and it made me wonder how much money some families or individuals drop with even higher concession prices.
Aside from being overpriced, there really aren’t many healthy choices to choose from at games. That soft pretzel and cheese won’t do much to curb your hunger but it will put a dent in your wallet and calorie consumption. If you’ve budgeted for food & beverage expenses, it may also help to know what your not-good, better, and best choices are at the concession stand.
Regular hot dog with mustard: 290 calories
2 Tbsp sauerkraut adds 5-10 more calories, 2 Tbsp ketchup adds 30 more calories, 2 Tbsp relish adds 40 calories. It all adds up, especially if you get the foot long hot dog!
Super Nachos & Cheese (40 chips, 4oz cheese): >1,500 calories
AH! You’re better off going with a 6 oz serving of French fries for 500 calories
8 oz bag of peanuts: 840 calories
Peanuts do contain heart healthy (monounsaturated) fats and other vitamins & minerals, so it could be a healthy choice if split with a friend
5.5 oz soft pretzel: 400 calories
The 8 ounce pretzels can pack about 700 calories. Calories from cheese is not included. Mustard is a low calorie condiment & would be a better choice in this case.
3.5 oz bag of Cracker Jacks: 420 calories
Cracker Jacks are basically candy-coated popcorn with some nuts thrown in with the mix. You’d be better off getting plain peanuts.
Bag of Cotton candy: 210 calories
Low calorie option, but not filling at all and no nutrients included
Slice of Pizza: 435 calories
Stadium pizza is usually a little bigger than a typical slice, usually 1/6 of a 16-inch pie versus 1/8.
20-ounce draft beer: 240 calories
Get a light draft and save 60 calories. Or just limit yourself to one or two and drink water the rest of the game.
Other tips for the game:
- Not many ballparks will allow you to bring outside food or beverages in the stadium, so my first suggestion would be to not go to a game hungry. Having an early lunch before the game can help prevent spontaneous purchases for items.
- Sneak a piece of fruit in your jacket or bag or your own Ziploc with home made trail mix (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips!)
- Split snacks
- Don’t get caught by the $0.60 more for the bigger size; it saves you $0.60 but can cost you hundreds of calories
- Be mindful while you eat. If you’re focused on the game, you might not be focusing on your food and may consume more than you’d like and you really didn’t even get to enjoy it.
- Some stadiums offer healthier options like frozen bananas, salads, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, frozen yogurt, and fruit smoothies.
Are you going to a baseball game this summer?