One of the most common struggles dancers face each week is what snacks to bring with them to class. Often times they will either bring heavy, unhealthy foods that deplete their energy, or simply not bring any snacks with them at all.
It is so important for dancers to have a well-balanced diet that provides them with energy and calories they need to dance their best. Here are some easy, dance bag-friendly snacks that will get them through their long hours at the studio:
- Cut Veggies and Hummus– Vegetables are a great snack option for dancers—they are naturally low in calories and fat and are full of nutrients that are essential for a balanced diet. Hummus is rich in nutrients and is plant-based for those who prefer vegetarian snack options. Plus, hummus has been proven to help fight inflammation—which is great for supporting recovery for sore muscles/injuries and warding off germs during flu season. It’s a winning combination that will keep you satisfied and energized.
- Fresh Fruit– For those who get cravings for something a little sweeter, fresh fruit can be a great option between classes. Bananas, apples, clementines, and grapes are great snack options that are easy to throw into your dance bag before class. Like vegetables, fruits are also low in calories and fat and are rich in potassium (which supports blood pressure, heart health, bone strength, and muscle strength), and Vitamin C. You can also try adding nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond, and sunflower) to make your snack more filling as needed. Just be cautious of any rules your studio may have about bringing nut-based products as a snack.
- Popcorn– Popcorn can be a great way to satisfy the craving for a salty snack. It’s a whole-grain, fiber-rich food that digests slowly, so it keeps you satisfied longer. However, the kind of popcorn you buy can really make or break the benefits mentioned above. It’s best to avoid microwaveable popcorn—most store brands use artificial ingredients and hydrogenated oils that have links to cancer and other severe health problems.The two healthiest ways to consume popcorn is either make stove top popcorn at home; or the more convenient option is to purchase natural/organic store brands that don’t add in the extra unhealthy oils and ingredients. Two great brands are Skinny Pop Popcorn and Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop Popcorn.
- No-Bake “Energy Balls”– Energy balls are a healthy way to curb your sweet tooth and have a pre-dance snack that will keep you satisfied. They don’t require an oven, and you can make enough to last you the week in a matter of minutes. They usually contain ingredients such as nut butter, rolled oats, honey, and mix-ins such as dark chocolate, dried fruit pieces, chia seeds, and more! There are so many great energy ball recipes out there; and depending on the ingredients you add, provide a variety of nutritional benefits—all in one little energy ball!
- Trail Mix– Trail mix is the best of both snacking worlds with salty and sweet ingredients. Most trail mixes have nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and sometimes even a hint of chocolate. Trail Mix is a great source of protein and fiber that fills you up without making you feel heavy and lethargic.
Happy Snacking! ☺