Let’s face it, sitting down to hydrate is no fun if you are a kid playing with your friends, in the middle of a sports game or dashing around the park. It’s just not fun. However, kids need to hydrate! As adults, we typically recognize we are thirsty and will in-turn drink something. Kids, on the other hand, don’t always recognize thirst and find it taxing to stop their fun activity. To help kids hydrate in the hot months, change things up with how you get fluid, electrolytes and nutrients into your kids. Here are 5 creative ways to get your kids hydrated:
1. Sports Drink Pops: A few decades ago people made their own popsicles, remember? As a kid it was so fun! So to help your kids stay hydrated make your own popsicles with flavored sports drinks. This is a fun way for kids to get carbohydrate plus needed electrolytes (sodium and potassium) without having to sit down and drink something. This way it is like a treat!
2. 100% Fruit Juice Bars: Juice bars can be a great way to hydrate your children and get essential vitamins and minerals into their little bodies! Choosing 100% fruit juice bars or pops is a chill way to get in the nutrients of fruit into their pool party or soccer game.
3. Flavored Ice Cubes:Flavored ice cubes can be used to put in drinks or to lick on while outside. Make them with fresh fruit flavored water or by juicing. Juicing is the craze right now so take your favorite fruits and juice them. Then pour the juice into ice cube holders and freeze as a nutrient rich way to hydrate your kids. You can even mix vegetables like spinach and kale into your juice and make green ice cubes which kids will love!
4. Fruit Kabobs: Coming up with creative ways for kids to eat fruits and vegetables is essential for getting them in their diet. Skewering fruit to make bright colored juicy kabobs is an easy way to serve fruit out by the pool, at a sports game or while playing in the backyard. Ideally it also keeps germs from getting on the fruit since kinds can hold the stick instead of the fruit itself.
5. Jumbo Pickles: From movie theaters to amusement parks, to carnivals, kids love jumbo pickles. Pickles are full of fluid and sodium which is great for replacing electrolytes lost in sweat. So whether you choose to have jumbo pickles at the park, after your child’s soccer game, or in the middle of football practice, it is a great way to hydrate in the hot months.
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a sports dietitian in the DFW area. She has worked with Texas Christian University Athletics, the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Dallas Soccer, Jim McLean Golf School and many PGA Tour players as well as with many middle school, high school and endurance athletes. Amy speaks at a variety of nutrition, athletic training and coaching conferences. She is an ambassador/spokesperson for the National Dairy Council, a Dairy Max Health and Wellness Advisory Council member and on the Speakers Bureau for Gatorade Sports Science Institute. Amy is also the co-author of “Swim, Bike, Run – Eat,” a sports nutrition book for triathletes.
Amy received her Bachelor of Science in speech communications from Texas Christian University and Master of Science in exercise and sports nutrition from Texas Woman’s University. She is also a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.