Hydration Hacks for Children in the Holidays
To enable our children to get the most out of every day in the busy summer holidays, staying hydrated is so important. It may not be full sun every day but it’s warm and quite humid, so the kids need to drink water to quench thirst.
Like the elderly, children are particularly at risk of becoming dehydrated because a child's body is less effective at perspiring and produces more heat during physical exertion. Children also tend to be more physically active than adults, resulting in a greater loss of bodily water.
As we get engrossed in an activity or task it is easy to forget to consume enough water, especially as a child while out and about and playing with family and friends on the beach.
Jazz up your water
Often, children find consuming water a bit boring as it lacks flavour and pzazz.
Here are a few tips for helping to make hydration and drinking a little bit more interesting, so they can maximise their potential each day.
- If your child prefers fruit juices, try gradually diluting them with water as juices contain high levels of naturally occurring sugars.
- Many fruits are high in water volume so offering a fruit salad for desert or as a snack can help increase water intake. Fruit such as watermelon, strawberries etc. Soups and stews can also have similar benefits.
- Protein requires additional liquid to metabolise so reducing meat intake can help with hydration levels.
- Offer a variety of drinks but limit caffeinated beverages as very large quantities can have a diuretic effect, causing an increase in urination.
- Be a good role model; the more your child sees you drinking the more likely they are to copy your behaviour.
- Introduce a drinking routine. If your child regularly forgets to drink water, having a routine in place to ensure a glass of water is consumed at least first and last thing in the day, at mealtimes and pre/post exercise may help.
Eat your water
Healthy fruits and vegetables that are high in water content and add fluid to your diet include:
- Melons such as watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe
Nifty hydration hacks
You can get all the benefits of fresh fruits and veggies just by eating them plain, but here are some other ideas to tempt the little ones:
- Combine a mix of fresh or frozen chopped fruit for a fruit salad
- Fruit skewer kebabs made from fresh, cut mixed fruit are delicious!
- Did you know that frozen fruit has the same health credentials and nutritional values as the fresh variety!
- Add a twist to your fruit salad with lime juice, balsamic vinegar or some fresh herbs like mint or basil
- You can BBQ / grill just about any veg — or fruits like peaches, bananas, or pineapple
- Make a tropical green smoothie with mango, pineapple, banana, and spinach
- Use sliced cucumber, carrots or peppers for dips instead of crisps
- Make a refreshing summer salad topped with fresh berries or peaches
- Puree frozen bananas to make a very simple and nutritious ‘ice cream’
Even if you’re providing a healthy diet for your children with fruits and veggies, you can’t beat plain water. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water or other low-calorie beverages is still important, especially in hot weather, if you’re out and about, playing, travelling on holiday and being active.
Is water too plain?
Trying adding some sugar-free flavour drops, or some fresh fruit or cucumber slices to give it a little flavour. We like these fruit combinations: blueberry & mint; cucumber & mint: strawberry with lime; watermelon and basil and tasty for children, too
There are some great reusable infusion bottles on the market where the fruit can be added to a chamber inside the flask to for natural flavour, giving you good old-fashioned water with nasty additives or sugars. Or you can simply chop fresh fruit, vegetables or herbs and soak in a jug of water.
The water takes on flavour after just an hour so good to make and refill reusable bottles for your day on the beach!