We’re about a month into summer and the heat is on! Hydration is a key component of health, regardless of age. After all, over half of the human body is comprised of water! When temperatures rise it’s even more important to monitor fluid intake. As you find yourself hunting for a beverage at home, in the car, or out and about, try these six tips to keep you and your child’s thirst at bay!
- Infused water – “Not again mom!” If your child turns his/her nose up at plain ole water, here’s a quick and easy way to add flavor with less sugar than bottled drinks – infuse water with fruit. Slice fruit and place in a decanter of water and in no time you’ll have a tasty drink. Pick one fruit or experiment with a hybrid. Strawberry and kiwi is a popular drink combo that kids (and adults) love.
- Say yes to juice – Fruit juice (like good2grow, wink wink!) is a tasty way for kids to stay hydrated. Select 100% juice or fruit & veggie blends over other drinks that contain artificial ingredients. The spill-proof SippaTop™ caps make good2grow a perfect option at home or on the go!
- Popsicle me! – Skip the popsicles from the grocer freezer and make your own! Take fruit juice and pour into popsicle molds. Pop in the freezer and in an hour or two you’ll have a healthy dessert or a mid-afternoon snack.
- Skip the caffeine – Soda may be a liquid, but it actually dehydrates you! A common ingredient in soft drinks is caffeine, which is a diuretic and increases excretion of liquids from the body. Everything in moderation is key so if your child does like caffeinated drinks, monitor portion control with single servings instead of liter bottles or dilute with ice cubes.
- Fruit saves the day – Here’s some trivia: what percentage of water is watermelon? Answer: 93%! Fruit is a great way to help meet hydration needs especially since summer is the season for water dense fruits – think strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, peaches, and pineapple!
- Plan ahead – Like hunger, thirst can strike too! Here’s an away-from-home tip: Stash water in your car. There’s nothing worse than dropping the kids off for a day at camp or embarking on a mall trip to realize you don’t have anything to drink! Bottled water works wonders and is convenient to store in the trunk.
How much is too much? Water requirements depend on age, gender, and physical activity. Remember that water is also in foods, so encourage your children to eat a variety of fruits and veggies. For suggested daily amounts by age visit EatRight.org.