Kids are much more prone to dehydration than adults because their little bodies are not as efficient at cooling down. And experts warn that by the time kids are thirsty, they are already about 3% dehydrated.
As we all know, summer heat and humidity can be brutal, even in the shade. Therefore, our goal as parents is to ensure that each child is reaching their recommended daily fluid intake, but the amount of water kids require may surprise you; toddlers (ages 1-3 years) need about 4 cups of fluid per day, while older children should be drinking 5-7 cups (more if they are active)!
With all the excitement of playing, kids often forget to drink their water; encourage them with a fun drinks break using crazy straws, lots of ice and colourful cups. But there are lots of fun and flavoursome ways to keep your kids hydrated (even for those that hate the taste of plain water)…
1. Fruit Necklaces
Entertaining kids is almost as tough as getting them to eat healthy foods, but this fun project instantly solves both challenges! Plus it’s also a great sensory learning activity as they get to experiment with shapes, colours and patterns.
Begin by preparing some freshly washed organic fruits like grapes, blueberries, and strawberries in separate bowls. Then cut about 60cm of elastic thread for each child and start off each necklace with a piece of fruit knotted in place. Hand it over with a blunt yarn needle and let the kids go wild designing their own healthy jewelry!
2. Watermelon Shapes
Who wants boring watermelon when you can cut it into a variety of cool and crazy shapes!? This so easy to do, the kids can even pick their own cookie cutters and press the shapes out themselves.
3. Ice, ice baby
The easiest way to get kids to drink more water is to freeze it! Grab a bunch of novelty ice trays with different shapes and freeze some berries, watermelon or orange pieces into the ice cubes.
4. Rainbow Smoothie Rockets
This is one of our favourite ways to utilize fruit that is just passed its good to eat fresh days.
Freeze fruits of different colors (strawberries, mango, kiwi, and blueberries are great ones to start with), peel (if required) and blend them into separate purees. Serve the rainbow rockets by layering the fruity colors one by one into a clear plastic cup (or even a Ziploc bag). Yum!
5. Fruity Kebabs
Freshly cut fruit pieces on a stick could not be any simpler or more delicious on a hot summer’s day.
6. Apple Nachos
Apple slices drizzled with nut butter and/or organic dark chocolate will even get the adults excited about staying hydrated! Apples contain about 84% water, and while they are not the most hydrating fruits, they are still an excellent snack for preventing dehydration (and increasing fibre intake).
7. Fresh Fruit Pizza
Watermelon is one of the most kid-friendly fruits around and we adore this idea of making mini watermelon pizzas. Simply cut up watermelon into wedge size pieces and provide some fruity toppings like blueberries, banana slices or pineapple bits 🙂
8. Homemade Fro-Yo
Imagine the joy on your kids’ faces when you encourage them to eat dessert just to stay hydrated! Simply blend 4 cups of frozen berries with ½ cup of plain Greek yoghurt, a squeeze of lime juice and 3 tsp of honey – ready to enjoy and eat immediately and any extra can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
9. Just Plain Water!
And while this last one is not a treat per se, it’s important to encourage your little ones to take sips of water regularly. By making water accessible to little ones and rewarding them with stickers when they reach their daily fluid goal, you will be promoting a healthy habit that will stay with them for life J
So while they are running about, swimming and playing this summer, it’s really important that we take extra precautions to ensure that they are getting enough water. Stay safe, stay hydrated and have fun this summer 🙂