Only a true lover of the art can view the world through the eyes of a dancer. A dancer must always think a few steps ahead. They must always watch out for things that will distract them or take them away from their task. They train themselves to be disciplined, in control, and to take the good from any situation and leave the bad behind. These skills serve them well in the art of dance, and it prepares them for the real world, in every aspect of life.
Just like any other athlete, a junior dancer must know their own body. They must know what it needs and when it needs it. They have to be taught that there is no good food or bad food. All food has something to offer and all food has a physical effect on their growing bodies.
When they learn to read their bodies and replenish the body with the right fuel, they recover and grow.
A junior dancer should be always prepared. They keep their dance bag stocked with items they may need to replace over time. If they are working on a particular piece that requires particular accessories, such as Sequin Belt, Fishnet Dance Gloves, Artistic Eye Mask, Yofi The Glitter Spray, etc. (source:https://www.justforkix.com/accessories). Carrying this with them will always keep them prepared for their next dancing class or performance.
The food they always have in their bags
Dancers know that when they have performed, they need to rebuild those muscles with protein. They also know that a dose of carbohydrates is what they need when they have used up their reserve of energy. And we parents have to make sure that our children get what they need to perform at their highest potential.
Carbs are easy to pack for them. Peanut butter and crackers or a fruit bar is a quick pick-me-up. But carrying around protein is not that easy. This is why professionals use a high-quality protein powder to support the recovery of their muscles. This is the perfect protein combination as it provides all the essentials, and it is easily carried around in the dancer’s bag. On those evenings when practice goes into overtime to prepare for a show, protein powder will give you the fuel you need to continue.
Mixing foods to get the nutritional boost your child needs is a great plan. Make high-energy (no-bake) fruit and nut energy balls and add whole grain oats with Cheerios. There are inexpensive high-protein foods that give your child everything they need when mixed with other nutritional foods.
Peanut Butter is a good example of this.
The key thing is to balance the fuel intake of your child and at the same time, give them everything they need. Do not omit a group of foods, because that will eventually lead to craving them. Exercise portion control, but include all of nature’s bounty. Even fat consumption has its place in the body of a dancer as well as other high-energy athletes. Fat gives the junior dancer energy and fat-soluble vitamins they cannot get elsewhere. They also provide essential fatty acids. Moderation, not omission is the key.
Note: A good dancer will often push beyond what they should. Time is precious to a junior dancer and it usually takes precedence over food. This is dangerous to the muscles especially if they are still in the growing phase. A high-quality protein powder targets the muscles. It is insurance against allowing the body from going too long without the protein or caloric requirements that dance demands.