Does it feel like all we’re ever digesting is bad news? We’re becoming wary of almost everything our kids touch, from plastic containers to the pears we pack them for snacks.
With summer comes carnival food, those oh-so-irresistible treats we remember from our own childhood. While there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, it helps to know what the kids are sinking their teeth into, before they take a bite.
Step right up, folks. As the ringmaster of your own cast of characters, here’s what you’ll want to know about the food they’ll be begging you to buy this summer.
Granted, there’s zero nutritional value, but a standard serving of cotton candy actually contains far less sugar than one can of a regular soft drink (there is only one tsp of sugar in a serving of cotton candy versus 12 in a pop). Since sugar is naturally white, cotton candy gets its colour from artificial dyes and the flavour is usually made from artificial flavouring. Prepare yourself for the sugar high, but other than empty calories (which they’ll probably burn off after a few rounds in the House of Mirrors), cotton candy isn’t a total freak show.
Per 1 oz serving: 114 calories, 0 mg sodium, 0g fat
Take a hot dog or sausage, coat it in a thick layer of cornmeal batter (which is made from yellow cornmeal, white flour, shortening, eggs, granulated sugar and salt) and deep fry it in oil. The kids will get almost an entire day’s worth of sodium in one corn dog, so keep the rest of your meals salt-free (easier said than done) if you can.
1 corn dog: 320 calories, 840 mg sodium, 21 g fat
You can have your cake and eat it too—just know what you’re getting into. A funnel cake is the sweet equivalent of a Big Mac and fries. First they deep-fry white flour dough, then cover it in sugar, and (if you’re so inclined) top it with cinnamon, whipped cream, ice cream and more.
1 plain funnel cake: 280 calories, 360mg sodium, 9g fat