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Fueling the Irish Dancer: Snacking on the Go

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

Irish dance strength and conditioning, Irish dance nutrition, what Irish dancers should eat, snacking on the go

With the St. Patrick’s Day season upon us, dancers will be driving from show to show eating the majority of their meals on the go. Staying fueled for these long performance days (or competition days!) can be challenging. Sometimes all you have time for is a quick run into a pharmacy or gas station.

We’ve got you covered with these top recommendations from Target Training’s Registered Dietician Jess.

Eating healthy is not always convenient. Many of my friends, family and clients assume that because I’m a dietitian, I always have healthy snacks in my back pocket. While I believe that we tend to make healthier choices when we have healthy snacks and meals planned and prepped sometimes life just gets busy. And sometimes, it seems your only choice is to run into the gas station or pharmacy to grab a bite of something.

So what do you grab?

Especially when you’re rushing from school or work to get to dance class or between shows and there is a ravenous dancer in the car who is going to burn some major energy!

Here’s a quick list of things that I found on a quick reconnaissance trip to my local pharmacy:

  • Nuts – almonds, pistachios, walnuts are the best choices. Opt for unsalted or low sodium, if possible, and be mindful of the portion size – a handful is really all you should need. Save the rest for a recovery snack after class.

  • Sunflower seeds – again, opt for low sodium and watch the portion size. Seeds or nuts in the shell will also slow you down

  • Fruit - paired with a cheese stick or nuts makes for an awesomely balanced snack

  • Fresh, if available

  • Unsweetened applesauce pouch OR Fruit cups in 100% juice

  • Raisins or other dried fruit (mango, apricots, cranberries) – try to avoid those that have added sugars

  • Whole grain cereal cups – with lowfat milk

  • Speaking of milk. MILK – plain milk/soymilk is your best choice

  • Yogurt – Greek yogurt has additional protein so if it’s an option, get that one!

  • Cheese sticks

  • Hardboiled eggs

  • Plain popcorn – try to avoid the cheddar or kettle styles because they have a lot of added fats and sugars that you don’t need and will slow you down at dance

  • Jerky – try to choose meats that are MSG-free and even better if you can find salmon or turkey jerky

  • Kind, Laura, kashi granola bars – not all granola bars are created equal. Watch for added sugars!

  • Hummus – though try to substitute the pretzels (if they come with it) with baby carrots or whole wheat crackers

  • Whole wheat crackers – Eat them with your string cheese or hummus as they are a healthier option than pretzels

It is not the end of the world if you forget your snacks in the refrigerator or just have not made it to the grocery, there are healthy options out there. Just walk past the chips, cookies and candy to find the right fuel to keep you on track with your dancing goals.


Jessica Gahl, Irish dance nutrition, Irish dance strength and conditioning, what Irish dancers should eat, snacking on the go

Interested in working with Jess to target the specific needs you have to

better fuel your body for Irish dance?

Checkout the Target Training Nutrition Consultation details and get started today!


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