Healthy Food for Dancers

It’s summer, so I’ve been home a lot and snacking a lot! This got me thinking about how I would advise my emerging dancers to eat during the summer months. I’m a fan of convenience all the time, so I checked out Amazon to see what is available for busy families to purchase, in order to save time and still find healthy options for their little dancing kiddos. Also, while I absolutely LOVE having tons of food in my home and will over-spend on groceries faster than I’ll overspend on designer shoes or handbags, I hate actually going to the grocery store. So, HELLO Amazon. (AmazonFresh isn’t available in all regions, so below I have listed some items that are on AmazonFresh specifically and some that are just on regular Amazon.com!)

MealPrepSo first, I want to recommend these awesome meal prep containers, which are currently listed for $15.50 for 21 3-compartment containers with lids. Several of my friends meal prep each week, as do I, in a super informal, non-Instagram-worthy way. However, if I had these containers, I might have to start photographing my weekly meal preps!

I also found these bowls for an alternate option. They are listed as microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe!

salad2

Last summer, when I was living the good life and participating in a local summer ballet intensive, I brought a salad and nuts every day, which meant I had to go to the store at the beginning of the week. (I was clearly too exhausted after going from 0 to 60, with jumping into ballet training for 6 hours per day out of nowhere to go shopping after class any day of the week.) So, I was super happy to find salads on AmazonFresh as well.

For quick protein snack packs that can be enjoyed by adults and kids of all ages, you can purchase this directly from Amazon.com. These snack pack contain items like honey roasted peanuts, glazed ham, and sunflower kernels or peanuts and teriyaki beef jerky. A six-pack protein pack will cost you just under $10.

Of course, you can find fresh fruit on AmazonFresh, but you can get tons of dry fruit options on Amazon.com, including organic dried cranberries and organic fruit lollipops!

almondsI’m personally very picky about my nuts, but I do love a good almond. You can grab a variety of nut brands on Amazon.com, including Amazon’s own brand Happy Belly.

Everyone needs treats once in a while! For those days, you can purchase an assorted variety pack that includes tasty snacks such as Air Heads, Cheeze Its, and Chex Mix. You can grab a pack like this of 40 snacks for $24.99. You can also get this pack of chips and cookies for a sweet treat!

These low sugar, gluten free KIND bars are a healthy option for a quick snack as well, and you can grab a variety pack of 12 for about $14. I haven’t tried them personally, but I have been meaning to try these snap pea crisps as a snack!

amazonmealkit2Finally, my absolute favorite new find on AmazonFresh was the Amazon Meal Kits! They take about 30 minutes to prepare and serve 2 people, which I think is fabulous.

How Do You Reinforce Dance?

Hard candy

Last week, we had our last class at one of the schools where Dance Daze hip hop is taught. All of the children were very excited about what I had gotten them as gifts for their last class of the semester.

When one of my 6-year-old students asked me, “Did you get us candy?” I responded, “Nope! I don’t believe in that!”

My student looked up at me, as we walked to the gym, and said, “How come? Is it because you don’t want us to have so much sugar before class and then go crazy?”

“No,” I said.  “It’s because I don’t believe in using sweets as a positive reinforcer for physical activity.”

I realized when I said it that this truly is one of my fundamental beliefs as a dance educator. Although I’m admittedly not a big sweets fan (milk chocolate, two types of ice cream, and plain cake are pretty much it for me!), I’ve never thought it was good to pair candy with dance or any physical education. (If you remember, I was even hesitant about giving out candy on Halloween!) I’m not quite sure when I developed this belief or when it became so strong, but I know that as a young dance student, my classmates and I always only received stamps and stickers for behaving well in class–never candy.

What’s your policy? Do you ever give out candy at the end of your classes or at your studio? Do you think it’s a big deal either way? Why or why not?