As summer approaches, and your dancers may take a break from their usual classes and teams, it’s important for them to maintain a healthy diet. So many fresh fruits and vegetables are available, yet so are summer treats and sugary drinks that can drag them down.
Increase Your Water Intake
Because approximately 60% of our body weight is made up of water, to say that water is vital to a healthy dancer is an understatement. Every bodily system depends on water. Mild dehydration can make a person feel tired and with low energy. Someone who’s dehydrated may think they’re hungry when they’re not. For those reasons, drinking enough water is extremely important!
During the summer months, when temperatures are higher, drinking water becomes even more important. You can encourage your dancers to plug their weight into a hydration calculator like this one to figure out how much water they should be drinking per day. You can also print water tracking sheets like this one and even offer an incentive for those who drink enough.
Replace Ice Cream with “Nice Cream”
We all know how the high sugar content and dairy in ice cream can wreak havoc on our bodily systems, but it sure is hard to resist that creamy, yummy stuff! Well, there are plenty of “nice cream” recipes out there that are completely free from dairy and any added sweeteners. Simply start with a couple overripe bananas, and freeze them. Add your choice of other fruits (fresh or frozen) and/or other flavors such as cinnamon or cocoa, some liquid (coconut or almond milk are favorites). Slightly thaw frozen items and then use an immersion blender to form your new treat! The texture is similar to “real” ice cream, but you can eat it with no regrets.
If you’d rather make it ahead and re-freeze your nice cream, it can be spooned into any container with a lid and then slightly thawed when you’re ready to eat it — or spoon it into these push-pop shooters, instead!
DIY Popsicles and Fruity Freeze Pops
Summer fruits can be extremely refreshing, but sometimes you really just want a popsicle! With all the sugar and artificial flavors and dyes, the store-bought stuff isn’t the most healthy option. The good news? You can easily make your own! First, get your forms — either popsicle forms or zip-top sleeves like these.
Then select a fresh or frozen fruit (or combination of fruits), and use an immersion blender to liquefy the mixture. If the fruit is especially watery, like watermelon, you won’t need any additional liquid, but for some fruits, you may want to add in some coconut water or fruit juice. Some great combinations include strawberry and lemon or mango and pineapple.
As a dance instructor, maybe you could host a “welcome to summer” party with some of these and other healthy treats! You could even hold a Facebook contest with pictures of their own healthy frozen treat concoctions!