TODAY   |  July 10, 2013

5 healthier food choices at the multiplex

Fruit snacks or gummies? Nachos or a soft pretzel? TODAY diet and nutrition editor Madelyn Fernstrom quizzes Kathie Lee and Hoda about which movie theater foods are healthier options.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> all right. now it's time for a game, a new game, we did not name it, but it's called beat it or eat it.

>> no, not another game, not called that.

>> it's all about the foods we mindlessly munch on at movies. we have mallets.

>> so we have beat it.

>> the food we thought we should avoid and eat the healthier option.

>> who else would be putting us through this other than today's diet and health editor.

>> hey, how are you?

>> this is about calorie count.

>> this is about calorie counts. okay, if you're at the movies, we all want something to eat at the movies. you have your mallet. i'm going to give you two comparisons. you'll either beat it or eat it. feel free to whack away the thing you'll not be eating.

>> one question, is there butter on this popcorn?

>> i'm getting to that. unbuttered popcorn, 12 cups, or a kids meal with three cups of unbuttered popcorn, diet soft drink , and candy. you are right. this is about 700 calories. if you get the kids meal, it's about half that. you can bring some baggies and divide this up.

>> they don't like when you go into the theater and take your own popcorn.

>> you're not. bringing the bag and filling it.

>> what if they ask you, did you bring it in?

>> what kind of a -- does that?

>> let's compare some candy. we have a box of junior mints and the same amount of m & ms. oh! you are right! these are around 700 --

>> i want to do it again.

>> you can divide this up if you want the whole box for yourself, just have a whole box of junior mints for about half those calories.

>> i love junior mints .

>> next, something i know these girls really like is red licorice . this is a movie pack, five ounces, of red licorice versus this is an icy, those frozen drinks you can have.

>> i want to eat those, i'm only going to hit it once.

>> you are right. this is what you want to beat. this whole pack is 500 calories.

>> the whole pack is 500? when i was stuck on the plane i ate a jumbo pack.

>> here's your serving, three or four.

>> what do i look like? mrs. maria, you're confessing to me?

>> come on, hoda, you'll know this.

>> chewy fruit snacks versus gummies. beat it or eat it? these are hard to beat.

>> like roaches, nothing happens.

>> this is one serving, 500 calories, knock it in half by getting the fruit snacks .

>> let's not bang these up, because i love these.

>> now we're going to get to real food. nachos versus soft pretzel . boy, don't like those nachos.

>> i love them. you're right, 700 calories.

>> the cheese. what happened to the cheese? the cheese --

>> then --

>> oh, my gosh, there's the cheese! that's nasty.

>> all right. don't want to beat a pretzel just for fun?

>> this is about 350 calories, too. it's no bargain, but you can buy some water in the movies, add some low calorie sweeteners.

>> you don't get to beat this.

>> some people in the movies, these are eat it, not beat it.

>> pickle!

>> you can have some beef jerky if you want. ask your movie theaters for these things.

>> who wants beef jerky in a movie?

>> some people do.

>> madeleine!

>> nobody does.

>> let's beat madeleine.

>> there you go, i'm ready.

>> i just stepped on the pickle.