Last weekend, a friend emailed asking if my son would like to go to the Mets game with her son and husband on Tuesday (notice she wasn’t going). There was no need to consult my son, I replied and accepted on his behalf. My husband said “we should get tickets and go to the game too, it’ll be fun.” When I woke up Monday morning, I spotted something in the printer. There were Mets e-tickets husband had printed, I counted and there were 3. I had optimistically assumed the “we” had meant husband and 7 year old, it never crossed my mind I was part of this Citi Field plan. I could’ve weaseled out, could’ve invited a friend for my son. I didn’t go this route because my boys are leaving for 7 weeks today. I’m sure, the few of you who read this blog, will hear more than you want to about this but for now let’s just say I was apprehensive enough about their departure to miss a new episode of Chopped and eat stadium food. Even I can be a good sport.
As a nutritionist, stadiums in some ways are enemy territory. I always feel as though I have my “fists up” and need to be ultra-vigilant with the various dietary obstacles I’m sure to encounter. There are people who feel soft pretzels, beer and hot dogs are part of the baseball experience. I am not one of those people. Knowing this, I did some pre-eating before we left the house. I had ½ an avocado and some leftover roasted asparagus acknowledging this was likely the only green I would see (I was wrong the Oakland A’s actually have green on their uniforms).
After dropping my son off at his friend’s apartment we made our way to the game. We arrived early and decided to walk around for a bit. There’s a great area for kids at Citi field with batting cages and dunking booths. I laughed that the Shake Shack burger line was easily 75 people deep, the line for the batting cages? Three people. While we waiting for my son’s turn, I made a comment to my husband about healthy food. The woman in front of us
eavesdropped overheard, she turned and said “I think the healthiest thing are the hot dogs, if you look at the calories they’re pretty good.” I passed on this “teachable moment” but people are really confused about nutrition when hot dogs are described as “healthy”.
There was a gluten free booth at the stadium featuring “gluten free hot dogs”, “gluten free hamburgers” and “gluten free sausage”. I wasn’t intrigued by the gluten free junk and settled on a sushi roll. I picked a cooked shrimp roll as Anisakis isn’t the way I’d like to drop a couple of pounds. My husband had a pulled pork sandwich from Blue Smoke. Clearly he and the hot dog fan have similar notions of what “healthy” means but he returned from the bar with Absolut Pear “on the rocks” for me so I will not be too critical. I’m sure the pretzel people would think eating sushi and drinking vodka at a ball game is sacrilegious but I was thrilled. I’d even go again (when the kids get home in 7 weeks).
When was the last time you were at a stadium? Did you pre-eat beforehand? What did you eat at the stadium? Any healthy stadium finds?
i was just at citi field with my dad on sunday. we went to the game to spend time together on father's day. i brought my own food – salad for lunch, apple, carrot sticks, and a lara bar for snacks, if necessary. i thought about it in advance and decided that i'd eat some peanuts if my dad got them but that's it. i found out my dad had eaten just before the game so the only thing we bought during the game was water. i'm glad i had an easy food time at the game and i'm also proud of my dad for not eating junk for the afternoon.
as it turns out, citi field does have at least one food location on the field level where you can buy fruit and some salads.
Kudos to you for bringing lunch, glad I'm not alone in my phobia. I agree, I did actually see salad options. I just knew I wouldn't find the salad there appealing.
I once brought a chopped salad to the old Yankee stadium when there used to be zero options. I was with 3 guys so you can imagine the comments I received. I have also brought Whole Foods brown rice sushi. I hate being somewhere hungry and having to eat something I don't want. I have had the sushi at Citi Field and it isn't bad. I am glad there are at least some options available now at the new NY stadiums, but it does take some detective work.
Agree Melissa- not eat something you don't WANT to eat (it's not about can't or shouldn't). It's also not about calories (which is nice that they post) but quality. Sometimes I don't bring food as I want to do that "detective work" as you said and find a decent option but bringing own always tastes good.
I bring Cliff Bars with me. At Yankee stadium I had sushi. 😉
hahahha healthy and stadium? Oye! I would have passed on the teachable moment as well and smiled a ridiculous smile. Oye! I can't even remember the last time I ate at a sporting event. We went to a Giants game last fall and grabbed quiznos before we went (veggie sub, light cheese, NO dressing). I honestly LOVE soft pretzels but spared the $6 and just enjoyed the sunshine of the staidum. IF the unhealthy fair at stadiums LOOKED appetizing (like how a brownie sundae at your fav restaurant does) I MIGHT consider spending $10 on something but since it does't appeal to me at all, I'd rather just grab a beer and a few peanuts and watch the game 🙂
I feel that when I go to a game which is not often, then I indulge in something sinful 🙂
The fact that sushi and salads are even options at stadiums now is a big deal. The options are there, it's just a matter of seeking them out like you did. With that said, I am definitely a pre-stadium eater for concerts and games. My reason for going to stadiums is to watch the main event, not eat in the stands! Luckily, stadium outings are usually in groups so the usual stadium food choices like nachos, cotton candy, etc can be shared between a few people.
I've heard that stadiums had started offering sushi. That's neat. I don't go to games often but last time I went, I treated myself to beer and a pretzel. Usually, I will eat before I go and maybe just have a drink.
I think it's funny the woman said a hot dog was a healthy choice. Goes to show how much people don't know.
Last stadium event for me was a Chargers football game. Since we're well in to baseball season, clearly that was a while ago. I'll admit to having eaten the occasional hotdog at the stadium before, but I'd love to see healthier options. This is usually washed down with a bottle of water, and maybe shared with a snack of peanuts, but I'll admit that Absolut Pear on the rocks sounds mighty tasty!
The last time I went to a stadium was the US Open (tennis) last summer. I hate that you cannot bring any food in with you. They even made me throw out the bottle of water I had brought with me. So frustrating. I ended up eating a hot dog, which honestly was the 'healthiest' option there. I really wish they had better food options at these places!
I so rarely go to stadiums, but when I do…I just eat whatever I want (well, providing it's vegetarian). I don't worry too much about "healthy" when it's something I only do once or twice a year. I figure one bad meal won't kill me. But if I went often, I'm not really sure what I'd do! What annoys me is how much it costs for a bottle of water.
I am a HUGE baseball fan and love going to games but I almost had a anxiety attack at the last game when my husband came back to our seats with PB M&M's, hot dogs, and soda. I stayed VERY calm on the outside but on the inside my mind was racing "Artificial colors, flavors" "preservatives" and God knows what else. That was a teachable moment that I couldn't pass on… next time we are bringing our own food!
i love hearing your honest opinion about all this. sometimes these are the things that are going through my mind too. glad you picked a healthy choice and enjoyed yourself!
I used to spend the better part of my time at baseball stadiums when my husband was playing. I learned pretty quickly to pack my own food. Thankfully, as a player's wife, I could usually sneak food in with no problem (unless we were at an away game). My favorite food in Chicago was the corn off the cob. Grilled corn cut off the cob and tossed with your favorite topping (some of my favorites were lime juice, cayenne or parmesan). Now when we go as a family, we usually eat before the game, bring water and split an ice cream as a family.
I'll indulge in one hot dog at a sport stadium as we rarely go. Some places do have reasonable choices, like the surprisingly good sushi we had at a Maverick's game. Then again, that game also featured a dessert buffet that came to our suite…that was not healthy at all.