By Joanna Fantozzi
The Daily Meal
Even if you’re not a baseball fan, one of America’s greatest pastimes is going to the ballpark in the middle of the summer. Between the crack of the bat, the roaring crowds, and the stadium workers hawking beer, it’s the perfect way to spend time with friends or family, no matter which team you’re rooting for.
Undeniably one of the highlights of going to the game is eating ballpark snacks. After all, the song does say, "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack." But you may want to consider instead bringing your own food from home, because the calorie counts of classic ballpark snacks, from hot dogs and chili cheese fries to beer and salty peanuts, really do add up.
Ballpark snacks have definitely evolved since "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" was written in the early twentieth century. Nowadays, major and minor league baseball teams seem to be taking their munchies to new heights with highly caloric foods. Take, for example, the Diamondbacks’ churro-stuffed doughnut or the bacon-topped hot dog with a Krispy Kreme bun you can get at the Kansas City Royals’ minor league team’s games.
We calculated the calorie counts of popular ballpark eats, so if you want to enjoy the game without going overboard, you’ll be covered.
Popular with kids, these sweet fluffballs don't seem to be made anything but air and sugar, and you're mostly correct.
One serving of cotton candy will only cost you 220 calories, but contains an alarming 56 grams of sugar. That’s more than twice the daily recommended dosage.
Hot dogs, along with beer, are definitely the snack of choice for hungry ballpark fans. But hot dogs vary wildly when it comes to nutritional content.
Your run of the mill Nathan’s hot dog is 290 calories (and that’s not counting the toppings). The healthiest hot dogs you can get are Oscar Meyer’s extra-lean cut at 50 calories each, if your ballpark carries them.
When it comes to ballpark snacks, it seems that the way to go is the classic.
Cracker Jack is made simply from caramel-coated popcorn and candied peanuts, and a regular box only contains 120 calories and 15 grams of fat. Compared to chili cheese fries, Cracker Jack is a home run.
Nachos is a generic term for chips with cheese and toppings, which run the gamut when it comes to calorie count.
But if you’re talking about generic corn chips with melted nacho cheese and salsa, which is what ballparks usually serve, one order will set you back around 595 calories.
Ah yes: The other classic ballpark snack besides Cracker Jack. Unsurprisingly, when it comes to nutritional value, peanuts (as long as they’re lightly salted and not candy-coated), are a softball.
A serving size of peanuts (one ounce) is 160 calories, and even though 125 of those calories are from fat, peanuts are generally really healthy for you, even in butter form.
Sausage and Peppers Sub
Feeling hungry? You may want to go for this Italian-American favorite, but it will cost you a whopping 859 calories for one sandwich.
Sausage and Peppers Sub
In this case, the Italian bread and fatty pork sausage really set you back. If that concerns you, you may want to skip out on the roll and just eat the insides of the sandwich.
While hard pretzels are not too unhealthy for you, the average soft pretzel contains 389 calories, according to the USDA.
And if you go for the decadent Auntie Anne’s pretzels, which are dripping in butter, you’ll end up eating 340 calories and 990 milligrams of sodium.
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