DALLAS—As summer winds down in north Texas the festival season heats up.
At Oktoberfest in Addison the beer flowed and so did the beef and strudel.
At Grapefest in Grapevine it was the wine.
Jill Hall and her family enjoy the festivals--especially the State Fair of Texas where the food is fried and temptation lurks at every booth.
"Absolutely, yes," Jill said. "I like to snack to, so yea, it's difficult for me."
But Jill tries to make sure she and her boys don't go overboard.
Registered dietitian Karin Hosenfeld of North Dallas Nutrition said that's a good idea because it's the season for a diet disaster.
"It used to be the holidays, Christmas, Hanukah, New Years," Hosenfeld said. "That was sort of our trilogy then it grew into this half a year eating festival."
Depending on the study--Americans gain a couple of pounds during the holiday season--tack on a state fair that runs for nearly a month and you've got more calories than you shake a corndog on a stick at.
Hosenfeld figures the Deep Fried Texas Salsa packs about 500 calories--50% from fat.
And the booze is no calorie bargain either.
"We like to have fun but a regular beer, a can of beer, a four ounce glass of wine and a shot of alcohol all have about 150 calories," Hosenfeld said. "So they do add up."
Hosenfeld suggests packing some healthy choices--veggies, low fat dressing, fruits and nuts.
The fibers fill you up so you don't hog wild on festival foods.
"I like to bring some of my own healthy food," Hosenfeld said. "I can at least have it around and then maybe have one treat, share it with someone else so that I am not missing out on all of the festivities."
And don't forget about football season--16 weeks of reasons to snack.
As for Jill--she'll go the fair with a game plan.
Bend, but don't break.
"I'll generally let my kids pick a snack or two to have there from a booth or two," Jill said. "Thankfully I like roasted corn on the cob the best."
A little luck doesn't hurt either.