By Guest Blogger Sarah Hester, MS, RD
The temperatures are rising, you’re dusting off the beach gear stored from last year, and the kids are itching to play outside. It’s finally summer! As you plan your next destination or your next picnic, keep hydration in mind. Proper hydration can help you and your kiddos avoid heat-related illnesses so you can soak up the summer and not skip a beat. Go beyond filling up water bottles and constantly coaxing your little people to drink with these tips!
Blend milk, yogurt, juice and fresh or frozen fruit in any combination to make a delicious and hydrating beverage. Play with different flavors to boost food exposures. Try Sweetpotato Creamsicle Smoothie or this Blues Buster Blueberry Peach Smoothie for a fun twist. Bonus, milk is a great hydration choice! It’s packed with electrolytes that are often lost in sweat and provides a punch of protein.
Popsicle molds are easy to find online. Make a creamy-based popsicle by using yogurt or use fruit juice for more of an ice-pop style popsicle. Begin by making a smoothie, blend the base with fresh or frozen fruit, a little sweetener if desired, and a smidge of vanilla extract for a depth of flavor. Freeze and break them out as a fun front porch snack!
Fruits & Veggies Count
Fresh, canned, or frozen… all fruits and veggies are high in water content. Take fruit on the go or have produce ready to eat in your fridge like sliced cucumbers, peppers, and carrots. Pro tip! As you are cooking dinner, set out a snack packed with produce for your family to graze as an easy way to amp up produce consumption.
Set Up a Hydration Station
Hydration stations aren’t just for summer camps! Infuse a pitcher of water with citrus slices, fresh mint, or cucumbers. Break out your pitcher(s) as the kids rush back inside from playing and direct them to take a pit stop at the hydration station.
Use Fun Accessories
Get kids excited about hydration by giving them the opportunity to choose their own water bottle. Kids love novelty, so try and incorporate fun accessories like silly straws and watch as they respond with a gulp!