Stampede Pancake breakfast - stock photo of people making pancakes for the crowd.

5 healthy-eating survival tips for the Calgary Stampede

Stampede season is almost in full swing, and that means that mini donut, cotton candy and deep fried everything season is not far behind.

While it’s great to be able to indulge on occasion, too many of these treats can have a negative impact on your waistline and your overall health. To help you navigate through the best options at the fair and stay on track this summer, we’ve put together our top tips for healthy eating at the Stampede!

1. Fuel before you go

Focus on a breakfast filled with healthy fruit, vegetables, whole grains (oatmeal, high fibre bread) and lean proteins (poultry, fish, Greek yogurt, legumes, or eggs) to help balance out any indulgences.

2. Pack some healthy snacks

Examples include:

  • Fresh cut veggies with tzatziki or hummus
  • Sliced or whole fruit
  • Nuts, seeds, trail mix, dry roasted beans (eg. The Good Bean Chickpea snacks)
  • Healthier granola bars (eg. LARA Bar, Elevate Me Bar, Kashi Trail Mix Bar)
  • Peanut Butter Energy Bites (see recipe) or buy LARA bites
  • Baby Bell cheese and Mary’s Crackers
  • A pre-made, frozen smoothie

3. Hydrate!

  • Bring a water bottle and try and drink about 8-10 cups of water per day (more if it’s really hot!)
  • Enhance the taste of your water hydrate with TRUE lemon or lime or NUUN all day tabs.
  • Skip empty calories by avoiding sugary beverages like soft drinks, energy drinks, sweetened and unsweetened fruit juice, flavored and vitamin water, sports drinks and frozen treats.
  • Go easy on the alcohol—have a plan and stick to it.

4. Indulge, but stay mindful  

  • A healthy eating plan allows for some treats. Be mindful of what you really want and enjoy it.
  • Keep in mind that your memory of a food peaks after about four bites. So consider calling it quits after a few bites of your treat and you’ll get equal the pleasure with lower cost to your health.

5. Seek out healthier options

Some healthier Stampede options include:

  • Los Tacos Hermanos: Fish tacos (limit cheese or go without)
  • Avatara Pizza: Flatbread pizza (dairy free and gluten free alternatives). Ask for 1/2 cheese and extra vegetables.
  • Wrap Daddy’s: Try their Thai noodle wrap
  • Corn on the Cob: Hold the salt and extra butter
  • Greek Grill: Mediterranean bowls, chicken kabobs and falafel
  • The Smoothie Shoppe: Choose smoothies with added protein made with almond milk or cow’s milk instead of juice
  • Lemon Heaven Lemonade: Ask for the sugar free option
  • At a pancake breakfast: fruit spears, eggs, yogurt and beans versus bacon/ sausages
  • Fruit kabobs/spears
  • Share a meal/snack with a friend to help with portion control

Armed with these healthy-eating survival tips from your Calgary Copeman Dietitians, you’re now ready to hit Stampede, have a great time and leave feeling guilt-free.


Are you interested in learning more dietitian-approved tips for all ages? Check out Copeman’s definitive guide to