How to Hydrate
From swimming and sunny walks to yard work, summer activities mean our kids (and ourselves) need to drink more water! But imbibing as much as we really need can get boring. And with advertisers luring in kids with bright labels, neon fluids, claims of electrolyte rejuvenation, juiced up vitamin promises, and athlete-approved-alliterative flavors, getting your little ones to drink good old fashioned H20 can be challenging. Sports drinks and sodas DO contain water, but sugars + artificial coloring + flavoring are the biggest parts of the equation. If you want a visual, put a soda can next to a clear cup. Put 10 teaspoons of white sugar in the cup. That is how much sugar is in the average 12 ounce can of pop. Ask yourself and your child if you would eat that in one sitting. Rather than rely on sugary juices and soda, shake up your water ritual with these tips and tricks: Water, water, everywhere! Keep a glass or bottle every place you spend time: at your desk, in your car, on your patio, by your bed. When you're thirsty, the easiest thing to reach for will be water. If plain water bores you, add natural flavoring (Literally) slap some mint, lavender, or basil and put it into your water. (Slapping the herbs will release the natural oils and flavor.) Try keeping a pitcher in your fridge with some cucumber, ginger, or lemon wedges in it.
Get hot hots and cold colds.
Sometimes your tap water just needs some temperature variety. Try iced tea, hot tea, or ice cubes with berries frozen inside. Look at thrift stores for novelty ice cube trays so you can add frozen stars or hearts to your drinks!
A spoonful of sugar.
Sodas and processed juices are often attractive because of their sweetness. Rather than sugar, add a little honey, agave, or fruit puree. It is also okay to dilute natural pure juice with water.
If your kids won't drink anything clear, add a few drops of cranberry or beet juice to make drinks pink!
Fizz. Bubble. Pop.
Make a healthy 'soda' by adding natural juice to sparkling water.
And since children are likely to model their parents' behavior, top off your water bottle and save sugary drinks for special occasions.
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