When doing a Christmas Craft fair, event, or other type of show, the last thing you are likely thinking about is healthy snacks and food. You worry about products, price points, and booth set up. But, why would you think about food?
While many shows and events offer a basic concession stand, the food available isn’t always the best option for keeping you strong throughout the day. Christmas fairs often have a predominance of baking and sweets available. Some fairs may have soup and a bun, or sandwiches, but they may not be the best choice for keeping your blood sugar even throughout the entire show.
Water is extremely important
Always bring your own water bottle, or two or three for an all-day event. Most events will have tea and coffee available, but not all will offer water. Trust me, you do not want to end up dehydrated at a sales event. It clouds your brain, makes functioning difficult, and can even give you a headache. Bring your own water to save hassle, and money, since bottled water at a concession can be pricey!
Bringing healthy snacks from home has three benefits.
First, you can tailor your snacks to be what you like, and to your dietary needs.
Second, you can choose snacks that will keep your blood sugar even, and you supplied with consistent energy, throughout the day. At busy events it can be very hard to arrange for a proper meal break. Snacks let you eat on the fly and small amounts each time.
Third, snacks you bring from home will always be less expensive than buying snacks at an event. After all, a show’s vendors are a captive audience for the food concession.
These 5 healthy snacks can be tailored to your dietary preferences and will give you energy and nutrition even when away from home.
1. Trail Mix
Made with nuts, dried fruit, and possible a few candies or chocolate chips, trail mix is a fun and usually healthy option. When making one’s own trail mix, lean toward tree nuts like hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, or walnuts. Good dried fruit options include cranberries, raisins, apples, plums, and bananas. Avoid including chocolate or candy if you cannot keep your trail mix cold.
Avoid peanuts if you are going to be consuming this at an event, or touching your product after eating.
2. Oatmeal Cookies or Bars
You can make oatmeal cookies with surprisingly low sugar content, using fruit for an extra jab of sweetness. The whole grains will digest at a moderate pace, and help you avoid a blood sugar crash. I like adding coconut and almonds or hazelnuts to my oatmeal cookies to add a bit more protein and fat for satiety value.
3. Homemade Jerky
While grains and nuts are an easy and effective snack option, making up a batch of homemade Beef Jerky can be the absolute best option for a good protein punch at an event. Jerky, made from beef or your favorite lean red meat, gets completely rid of the chance of blood sugar spikes. It has a high satiety value, and will keep you comfortably through a long event.
4. Cheese and Veggies
Bring cheese sticks or cubes from home. Cheese is a fermented dairy product, and will survive comfortably without refrigeration (can’t say the same for egg salad sandwiches). Cheese goes well with most veggies, as a nice protein and fat side to the veggies fiber and vitamins. I personally enjoy celery and carrots for events, since they stay crisp.
Alternatively, you can make a cheese and veggie sandwich for lunch. This type of sandwich will stay safe, even without refrigeration, while I would not say the same of a meat sandwich.
5. Whole Fruit
Whole fruits, like apples, are easy to transport and pack a good nutritive, “pick me up,” punch. Pair fruit with cheese to balance the sugar content, or bring a nut butter dip. If you are consuming nuts, make sure to avoid peanuts out of respect for those with sever peanut allergies.
By bringing your own snacks or meals to a fair or event, you can insure the quality of your food, and protect your own health. Fairs are stressful, and eating food that you are not used to, or that is high in sugar, is likely to make you tired and irritable. Staying hydrated and eating healthy and nutritive food will help your body handle the stress, and cut down on how tired you will be in the days following an event.
Healthy snacks are just one of the requirements for being successful doing shows or events. Here is a downloadable checklist to help you make sure you have everything that you need. In addition to the materials you bring to an event you need skills and an attitude that will give you success. Another critical area is managing your cash box. There are many skills needed to do an event but taking care of yourself is a key success factor.
This article was contributed by Sarah Dalziel. Additional articles by Sarah can be found at Wearing Woad and at Sarah Dalziel Media. I look forward to your comments. What snacks do you take to your events?