Even though the kids are back in school, the summer heat may choose to stick around a bit longer. Hydration in the heat, especially for your little ones, is extremely important. Below, we answer the question: what are the healthiest drinks to keep our children hydrated?
As always, water reigns supreme. Water is easily absorbed by the body and doesn’t add extra calories. If you need a boost of flavor, try cut up limes, fresh mint, or lemon to make your water a bit tastier. Here are some great water infusions ideas the kids will love.
Low-fat dairy drinks or dairy alternatives
These drinks include skim or 1% milk, soy, almond, or rice milk. Not only do these drinks provide hydration, they also provide crucial minerals lost from sweating. To sweeten the deal for your kids, try freezing vanilla almond milk in Popsicle molds for a delicious cold summer treat.
If your children are spending considerable time in the sun, especially while being active, they will need additional hydration to replace their electrolytes (minerals that are lost in sweat). If your child falls into this category, I recommend beverages with a slightly higher calorie count to stay hydrated.
Although high in fructose and generally low in nutrients, let’s face it, sometimes kids prefer the sweet taste of fruit juice. If your little athlete refuses to drink water, summer is a good time to allow juice. After all, hydration is the priority. Avoid beverages that are very high in sugar, such as soda, lemonade, and iced teas. The sugar in these beverages can be very addictive and negatively affect sports performance throughout the day.
Sports drinks such as Powerade and Gatorade can be beneficial after several hours of exercising in the hot sun. It is recommended for a child to consume 4oz of a sports drink or water every 20 minutes during exercise, and 8-16oz after the exercise is complete.
Enjoy the rest of your summer, and stay hydrated!