Every dancer has different dietary needs and can find, through trial and error, which foods help them perform their best during full days of dance. But younger dancers will need your help to pick foods that provide energy and focus. Here's a handful of suggestions.
- For a burst of energy on the go, eat a handful of mini pretzels or whole-grain crackers, a small bag of grapes or carrot sticks, a banana or a box of raisins.
- For an easy lunch, make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole-grain bread. Peanut butter is a great source of healthy protein, and it doesn't even need to be refrigerated.
- For a convenient recovery food between classes or performances, try a prepackaged 8-ounce serving of vanilla or chocolate soy milk or shelf-stable regular milk.
- The day before, make a green or fruit smoothie, put it into mini mason jars and then freeze it. Put one in a cooler the next day for breakfast on-the-go or lunch. Kids love it because it's like eating a sorbet.
- If you shop for energy bars, keep in mind that many have as much sugar as a candy bar. Look for brands that have less than 7–15 grams of sugar and about 8 grams of protein.