IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Forget the corndogs! Try this theme park fare

Got a big appetite after riding the rides? “Today” food editor Phil Lempert offers his top meal choices from the nation's major attractions.

There are more than 600 amusement parks in the United States alone, and last year more than 335 million of us took to the rides and attractions. And while that giant roller coaster or the chance to be a part of the latest movie adventure is what brings us to these parks, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert suggests that it’s the food that keeps us happy and gives us the strength, and sometimes courage, we need to tackle them.

According to the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions, this year it is expected that we will spend almost $13 billion at our nation's amusement parks. And while, according to IAAPA, the number one favorite food sold at these parks are funnel cakes, we suggest that this year you give your taste buds a bit more excitement!

For lunch or dinner:
Green Eggs and Ham Sandwich(Universal Orlando Resort)  Taken from the popular Dr. Seuss story, “Green Eggs and Ham,” it’s a sandwich that contains ... yep, green eggs and ham.Price:  $6.99 + tax Where to buy: Green Eggs and Ham restaurant in Seuss Landing in Islands of Adventure Interesting fact: Spinach powder is used to make the eggs green. However, you won’t taste a spinach flavor while eating. 

Giant Turkey Leg (Six Flags Over Texas) Extra large baked turkey leg (approx. 2 pounds)  Price: $5.99 each

Budweiser Grilled Shrimp(Busch Gardens Europe)Shrimp grilled with olive oil, spiced with garlic, steak seasoning, cayenne pepper, Budweiser beer* and fresh-squeezed lime. (*Alcohol content cooks off during grilling) Price: $5.00 for six shrimpWhere it's sold: Ireland section of Busch Gardens and grilled in front of viewing guests

For a snack:
Fried Alligator Bites(Six Flags Over Texas) They look like chicken nuggets, taste like chicken, but are real alligator meat. Sold in the Texas park. Alligator meat is high in protein, and low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol.Price: Six in a basket with fries and dinner roll, $7.99

Jalapeno Pretzels (Universal Orlando Resort)Giant pretzel filled with jalapeno and cheese.Price: $3.99 + tax Where it’s sold: Amityville and food carts (the area around the JAWS! Attraction in Universal Studios)

Fried Pickles (Busch Gardens Europe)Dill pickle spears, breaded and fried to a golden brown. Served with a spicy ranch/salsa dip. (Canola oil used is for frying.)Price: $3.49 for six spears and dip Where it's sold: French section of Busch Gardens at Trappers Smokehouse

Cups of Fresh Fruit (Available in all parks)Strawberries: Approx. price: $2.99; calories: 70; fat grams: 0Watermelon: Approx. price: $2.99; calories: 75; fat grams: 0Fruit Bowl: Approx. price: $2.99; calories: 70; fat grams: 0

Remember, just because it’s a fun time doesn’t mean you have to eat just empty calories. Use this list as a guide, and be sure to look for the nutritional information before you bite!

And by the way, save a seat on the roller coaster for me!

Phil Lempert is food editor of the “Today” show. He welcomes questions and comments, which can be sent to phil.lempert@nbc.com or by using the mail box below. For more about the latest trends on the supermarket shelves, visit Phil’s Web site at .