Families tend to eat on-the-go during summer, whether that's at a baseball game or amusement park. Here's your guide to the best and worst food options.

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Summer Eats Toddler Eating Corn On The Beach
Credit: Ivolodina/Shutterstock

Summer brings the kind of weather that gets families out and about more, which also means eating out more. Whether you're taking the kids to a minor league baseball game or stopping at a fast-food rest stop on a road trip, some snacking options will be healthier than others. Here, nutritionist Stefanie Sacks, author of What the Fork Are You Eating?, suggests ideal picks for your hungry brood.


Best Bet: Peanuts in the shell (for kids ages 4 and older who aren’t allergic). Although high in calories (about 200 for a 1-cup serving), peanuts earn their keep by packing protein (9 grams) and fiber (6 grams).

Worst Bet: Slush Puppies. Despite 1,315 calories and 25 grams of sugar, this artificially colored beverage doesn’t even quiet a growling stomach.

Pool Snack Bar

Best Bet: Grilled-chicken sandwich (as long as it’s an actual chicken breast, not a patty).

Worst Bet: Onion rings. Dipped in a heavy batter before hitting the fryer, these grease bombs are literally dripping in trans fats.

Fast-Food Rest Stop

Best Bet: At Taco Bell, it’s a bean burrito, which has 370 calories and 14 grams of protein. At McDonald’s, go for the Fruit ’N Yogurt Parfait, which has only 150 calories.

Worst Bet: At Taco Bell, skip the XXL Grilled Stuft Burrito, which has 860 calories and 2,170mg of sodium. At McDonald’s, avoid a Grand Mac, which also has 860 calories and 52 grams of fat.

Amusement Park

Best Bet: Corn on the cob. Even with butter, an 8-inch cob comes in at 200 calories—and has 6 grams of protein to boot.

Worst Bet: Funnel cake. It’s a 760-calorie blob of dough deep-fried in hydrogenated oil and coated in powdered sugar. ’Nuff said.

Parents Magazine