What exactly is a healthy snack? Convenience, variety, flexibility, and balance. With busy schedules, snacking is a must for dancers. Here are our 20+ favorite snacks to prep and pack for your week! And don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this article to download your FREE recipe booklet for additional favorites!
Banana Peanut Butter Roll-Ups
Why do I like this snack? Bananas are a great source of potassium, but did you know that they also support digestion? Bananas contain fibrous pectin and resistant starch, which aid digestion and promote sustainable energy throughout long mornings and afternoons.
- 1 banana
- 1-2 tablespoon(s) peanut butter
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
- ½-1 teaspoon chia seeds
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1 whole wheat tortilla
Directions: Spread peanut butter generously on tortillas. Sprinkle with cinnamon and chia seeds, and drizzle with honey. Assemble by placing peeled banana onto the prepared tortilla, roll tortilla snugly around the banana, then eat as is or slice into sections to throw in a Tupperware container for a quick between-classes bite!
Almond Butter Stuffed Dates
Why do I like this snack? Almonds are high in tocopherols, which are the highly antioxidative chemical compounds that make up vitamin E. Tocopherols help protect your cells from free radical damage and support your immune system. Bonus: the healthy fats in almond butter promote your body’s absorption of fat-soluble vitamin E!
- Medjool dates
- Almond butter
- Optional: dark chocolate chips
Directions: Pit dates, stuff with almond butter, then add chocolate if desired. Pop in the freezer for a sweet treat!
Why do I like this snack? Chickpeas are a great source of plant-based iron and calcium, both of which support bone health. For dancers, strong bones are especially important for preventing injury. (Check out this article for more info!) The best part about this recipe? Make it in bulk and store it in the fridge for convenient access!
- 1 15oz can of chickpeas
- Seasonings of choice
- 1-2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
Directions: Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain and rinse chickpeas, then spread on a towel and massage to dry, letting the skins come off. Coat with olive oil and seasonings of choice, spread on baking sheet, and roast for 25 minutes or until crunchy. Mix into trail mix, leftovers, or eat on their own for a protein kick!
Why do I like this snack? Oats contain a high level of beta-glucan, a potent soluble fiber that promotes satiety and supports the gut microbiota. Granola is also convenient and an easy-to-pack snack, especially if traveling for competitions and intensives.
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- ½ cup almond flour
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2+ cups mixed nuts (try almonds, cashews, pecans—anything you like!)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped Medjool dates
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
Directions: Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In a small saucepan (or microwave), melt coconut oil and maple syrup over low heat, then remove from heat to add vanilla extract. Mix the melted mixture into dry ingredients. Spread on a prepared sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes. Let cool completely (~15-20 min) to allow clusters to form, then stir in dates and chocolate chips. Eat with yogurt, your favorite smoothie, or by the handful
The Perfect Trail Mix
Why do I like this snack? Trail mix offers a delicious opportunity to customize your snack for your personal preferences and nutritional needs!
- Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, and macadamia nuts. Nuts are packed with protein, fat, and an array of vitamins, which aid in muscle recovery! Try roasted nuts for an additional toasty flavor.
- Seeds: These small but mighty additions are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and sesame seeds are great choices. Did you know that seeds are also a great source of magnesium? Magnesium is known to promote calmness during your most stressful audition season.
- Grains: Add crunch with foods like granola, pretzels, popcorn, or whole-grain cereal. Grains are a great way to boost the fiber content of your snack, which promotes satiety to hold you until your meal.
- The Fun Stuff: A personal favorite, dried fruit adds the perfect sweetness to your mix! Toss a handful of raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, banana chips, or apple chips into your mix. If you prefer a more indulgent option, swap dried fruit with dark chocolate chips or yogurt chips. Dried fruit is high in potassium, an electrolyte that plays a role in your muscles’ contractions.
- Spice It Up! This is optional and a great way to add variety and flavor to your mix. Sprinkle cinnamon, cayenne pepper, or even pumpkin spice into your trail mix! Fun fact: did you know the capsaicin in cayenne pepper can alleviate muscle cramps?
Carrot Oat Bites
Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is a micronutrient that is converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is a leading precursor supporting vision and bone health.
- 1 ½ cup oats
- 1 cup cashews
- ½ cup carrots
- ½ inch piece of fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons protein powder
- Cinnamon to taste
- Pinch of salt
- 15 dates
Directions: Blend all ingredients except dates in a food processor until texture is fine and semi-uniform. Add pitted dates 1 at a time until the mixture is moldable, adding more or fewer dates as needed.
Why do I like this snack? Chia seeds are incredibly nutrient-dense, and a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, specifically ALA (alpha-linolenic acid). Omega-3 fats have been shown to promote cardiovascular health—hello, grande allegro!
- 3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup milk of choice
Directions: Mix all ingredients in a small container with a lid. Leave in the fridge overnight (or for about 2 hours) until thick. Enjoy with granola and fruit!
Blueberry Muffin Smoothie
Why do I like this snack? Vitamin C aids iron absorption. Add a squeeze of lemon juice into this smoothie to increase your body’s ability to absorb the iron from the oats. Iron facilitates the transportation of oxygen to your muscles, which protects against muscle fatigue.
- 1 banana
- ⅔ cup frozen blueberries
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- Dash vanilla extract
- Optional: a squeeze of lemon juice
Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Tip: use frozen fruit for a thicker, creamier consistency!
Fresh Spring Rolls with Mango and Avocado
Why do I like this snack? Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which help your body to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Plus, they’re delicious and super satiating!
- 1 package spring roll rice wrappers (you will use about 12 wrappers)
- 4 ounces vermicelli rice noodles (1/2 package)
- 12 pieces of butter leaf lettuce, or green leafy lettuce
- 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1 english cucumber, peeled and sliced into strips
- 1 small bunch fresh mint leaves
- 1 small bunch fresh basil leaves
- 1 small bunch fresh cilantro
- 2 medium-large avocados, pits removed and cut into slices
- 1 large (or 2 medium) fresh mangos, peeled and sliced into strips
- optional: fresh chives
Easy Peanut Sauce:
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce (use tamari for gluten-free)
- 3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce, or to taste
- 3-4 tablespoons water, as needed to thin
- crushed peanuts, for sprinkling on top, optional
Homemade Trail Mix Granola Bars (No-Bake) (makes ~12 bars)
Why do I like this snack? Sunflower seeds are especially high in selenium, a unique mineral that supports metabolic and immune function, among other benefits.
- ¾ cup almond butter (creamy, unsweetened)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1.5 cups rolled oats (certified GF if needed)
- ½ cup raw almonds, chopped
- ½ cup raw pecans, chopped
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (vegan if needed)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup water
- Whole grain crackers
- Sliced veggies (carrots, cucumber, bell peppers)
Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve with crackers and sliced veggies.
DANCER Snack Packs (4 ways, each box serves 1)
Simply add your ingredients to a compartmentalized lunch box and go! Why do I like this snack? Eggs contain the essential nutrient choline, an important precursor to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Not only is acetylcholine involved in all muscle movements, but it also supports cognitive functions and memory.
Variation #1: Cheese Snack Pack
- 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled
- ½ cup cheese, cubed
- 1 cup whole grain crackers
- ½ cup strawberries, sliced
- ½ cup blueberries, sliced
Variation #2: Avocado Salsa Snack Pack
- 2 hardboiled eggs, peeled
- ½ an avocado, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- A generous handful of tortilla chips
- ¼ cup salsa
Pistachio Oat Squares (makes ~12 squares)
- 1 cup raw shelled pistachios
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ cup maple syrup, more for drizzling on top
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ⅓ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- An additional handful of chopped pistachios for the topping
Sweet Berry Overnight Oats
Why do I like this snack? Tart cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that might help regulate sleep-wake cycles.
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup milk or non-dairy milk of choice, more as needed
- ½ teaspoon maple syrup
- Pinch of sea salt
- Toppings: frozen fruit (raspberries and blueberries), ground flax, whole milk yogurt, coconut shavings chia seeds, and a drizzle of maple syrup.
Directions: In a small jar, combine the oats, milk, maple syrup, and salt. Stir and chill overnight. Top with desired toppings.
Why do I like this snack? The cocoa in your dark chocolate chips are rich in heart-healthy flavonols, iron, and even small amounts of caffeine (for an energy boost).
- 2 tablespoons date caramel sauce
- 16 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ – 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 apple, sliced
- 1 tablespoon chocolate chips (or cacao nibs)
- 1 tablespoon chopped pecans
- 1-2 tablespoons nut butter of choice
Directions: To make sauce, blend all ingredients until creamy. Assemble sliced apples as desired, drizzle with caramel sauce and peanut butter, and sprinkle on chocolate chips, chopped nuts, and any other toppings of choice.
Buffalo Cauliflower (serves ~4)
Why do I like this snack? Cauliflower is a great source of vitamin K, which supports bone health in part by aiding your body’s calcium absorption.
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¾ cup milk or milk alternative
- 1 head cauliflower
- ¼ cup buffalo sauce or hot sauce
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
Frozen Peanut Butter Grapes
Why do I like this snack? Resveratrol is a type of polyphenol that is found in the skin of grapes and in the skin of peanuts. Resveratrol is known to hold immune-boosting anti-inflammatory properties.
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons plain 2-percent-fat Greek yogurt
- pinch pumpkin pie spice
- ¾ cup grapes
Pesto & Turkey Cucumber Roll Ups (makes ~18 rolls)
Why do I like this snack? Cucumbers are a great source of hydration! Not only do they contain 95% water, but they also contain electrolytes like magnesium and potassium, both of which help to distribute water throughout the body.
- 3 medium cucumbers (each will yield about 6 slices)
- ¼ cup store-bought basil pesto
- 6 slices of mozzarella, cut into ½-inch strips
- 6 ounces deli smoked turkey breast, shredded
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced into matchsticks
- ½ cup spinach, shredded
- salt and pepper, for seasoning
- Optional: add whole wheat tortilla
Banana Matcha Energy Bites (2 ways, makes ~12 servings)
Why do I like this snack? Matcha is derived from the entire green tea leaf, which allows it to deliver a concentrated amount of antioxidants, caffeine, and other beneficial compounds.
- 1 cup oats
- 1 cup seeds (one type or a combo—ex: flax seeds, quinoa seeds, sunflower seeds, chia and sesame seeds)
- 1 cup nuts (one type or a combo—ex: walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts and almonds)
- 2 bananas
- 2 tablespoons almond butter (or peanut butter or coconut oil)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 ½ teaspoons matcha green tea powder
- ⅔ cup cranberries
Zucchini Banana Baked Oatmeal Cups (makes 16-24 muffins)
Why do I like this snack? Zucchini contains folate (vitamin B9), a water-soluble vitamin which in part promotes the conversion of carbohydrates into energy.
- 1 cup mashed banana, about 2 large bananas (recommend ripe banana with black spots)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 2 whole eggs
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup shredded zucchini*
- ½ cup mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup coconut flakes