Summer Safety Spotlight: Ballpark Food and a Senior's Special Diet

  • July 05, 2017

Professional baseball is alive and well in Indiana. No less than five professional teams call the Hoosier state home. With numbers like that, catching a game during the summer season is easy. It’s also one of the best ways to spend an afternoon with a senior loved one.

Watch out for notorious ballpark food, however. It can wreak havoc on a senior’s special diet. 

While Cracker Jacks and peanuts used to be the norm, today’s ballpark fare tends toward heavy, calorie-laden food. Hot dogs and nachos are now firmly entrenched as staples in most ballparks these days. The fact is, however, many older adults simply can’t handle that type of food.

Ballpark Food to Avoid

Take a quick sampling of ballpark food that’s offered to fans these days. You’ll realize right away that anyone who has special dietary needs should tread carefully:
  • Nachos. You have cheese with lots of fat, salsa that may be spicy, and the nachos themselves, which add the triple play of unhealthy eating: fat, salt, and carbs. 
  • Philly cheese steak nachos. Available at Four Winds Field at Coveleski Stadium, this is a fan favorite. There’s so much cheese it must be eaten with a fork, according to the people who make it
  • Chili cheese dog. Hot dogs have saturated fat, which can lead to high cholesterol. But it doesn’t stop there. The chili is spicy and the cheese adds even more fat. 
  • The ‘Porknado’. This is a waffle cone filled with mac-n-cheese, pulled pork, cole slaw, and jalapeno peppers. Also at Four Winds Field. 
  • Garlic fries. 500 calories. Need we say more? 
  • Pretzel dog. High in fat, sodium, and carbs. All that’s missing is a high sugar content!
  • Polish sausage. Available at Four Winds Field in South Bend, this is very heavy in fat. 

Luckily, there are healthier options. We scanned the concession menu at each of the seven Indiana ballparks and this is what we found:

Some Healthier Alternatives at Indiana Ballparks

  • Victory Field. This classic field offers traditional ballpark food like Cracker Jack and peanuts. Some sections also offer milkshakes which can be higher in protein. For older adults who are on a sugar-restricted diet, however, the milkshake and the Cracker Jacks won’t do. The stadium’s veggie burger might be a better choice.
  • Four Winds Field. If you’ve reserved a suite, pre-order food that’s slightly healthier than normal ballpark fare. The suite menu includes fresh pasta salad, chicken salad, fresh coleslaw, and a seasonal fruit tray.
  • Parkview Field. This award-winning ballpark in Fort Wayne should also get awards for its concessions. From salads to veggies & hummus to chicken sandwiches to the vegetarian black bean burger, they have healthier options older adults will appreciate. 
  • U.S. Steel Yard. Their new expanded menu includes a terrifying foot-long corn dog but also turkey burgers and pulled chicken sandwiches. 
  • League Stadium. Traditional ballpark food, but grilled so fat content might be less. According to WebMD, choosing grilled foods is generally a healthier way to eat. However, they caution foods that are grilled are often high in fat to begin with.
  • Kokomo Municipal Stadium. This stadium has won awards for its pleasing ballgame ambiance, but the food is very traditional. Seniors who are on a fat- or sugar-restricted diet may want to bring their own snacks. 

We hope this helps with your summertime ballpark plans. Older adults in Indiana often look forward to a game or two every season. It brings back good memories and also provides a welcome social outing. 

Activities & Outings All Summer Long at Five Star Senior Living

At Five Star Senior Living, we understand our Indiana seniors’ connection to ballpark traditions and summertime fun. That’s why we have a full calendar of activities to enjoy. Many of the summer activities are centered around outings and active social gatherings for the seniors in our communities who wish to participate. Call one of our Indiana communities to learn more!


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