It’s essential to keep your kids properly hydrated in the hotter months of the year. Children will be naturally exposed to more sunlight and heat as they play and enjoy the outdoors, but this means they will need to drink more to avoid exhaustion and losing concentration through lack of fluids. They may not always know when they need to boost their fluid levels, either, so parents need to ensure they keeping their kids drinking regularly throughout the day.
This said, finding a healthier choice of soft drink can be tricky. Some drinks which are designed to appeal to children are often loaded with sugar or artificial additives, and may not be the most refreshing when it comes to quenching their thirst. So what are the best options to give your kids during the summer?
Though everyone has a preference, there are some summer drink staples which will always go down well with kids, and parents too. Lemonade is a family favourite for cooling down on those blazing hot days, and thankfully these days it’s easier to find varieties without long lists of ingredients and more of the natural goodness of lemons. Lemonade also has no caffeine content, making it better for hydration and general health.
In fact, lemon juice added to water and sweetened with a little natural sugar can be a great energy boost, whilst cooling the body at the same time. Why not make your own homemade version by filling a jug with ice and using freshly squeezed lemons?
Pure, unsweetened fruit juice not made from concentrate is the best juice you can give to your kids, as a cup equates to eating a piece of fresh fruit. Remember that drinking lots of juice will still only count for one portion of fruit, as it does not contain the natural fibre of whole fruit and vegetables. So it’s best to give children just one cup of this a day, but great for little ones who need more encouragement to eat more fresh fruit!
Try mixing half a cup of orange, cranberry or your own choice of juice with sparkling or soda water for a fizzy twist that’s still healthy. Alternatively, iced tea is another summer classic, though it’s preferable to get non-caffeinated variations for children, going for green tea or fruit and herbal blends. However, when it comes to the most effective hydration, water is hard to beat. It’s not always simple getting kids to drink water, but you could try drinks which come infused with fruit flavours or cordials with high juice content. If you’re feeling adventurous, infuse your own water cocktails, using mint leaves, cucumber or berries and leave for a few hours.
Finally, it’s worth noting that not only are high quality soft drinks the best for children, but adults should consider them as a serious alternative during the warm weather, as alcoholic drinks can cause dehydration and often come with a high calorie count. So stock the fridge with healthy thirst-quenchers and the whole family will be set for summer!
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