Summer Homework: Keeping Kids Hydrated

With summer in full force, you may be wondering how to keep your child well-nourished and hydrated throughout the summer months.

“Whether it’s bottled or from the tap, water does the body good. Without any unnecessary calories, it helps your muscles and brain stay hydrated for optimal physical and mental performance,” according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Keep these “DOs” and “DON’Ts”  in mind to prevent your child from becoming dehydrated:

…wait until your child is sweating to recommend hydrating. Children have less effective cooling systems than adults since they sweat less and generate more body heat.Build in hydration breaks every 15 minutes during play and physical activity.   
…wait until your child is thirsty to recommend hydration. Once a child is thirsty, they are already on their way to dehydration.Be proactive. Offer water before your child requests it.
…only offer water after physical activity.Offer water before, during, and after physical activity.
…offer beverages other than water and milk.Rely on water as the main source of hydration. Sports drinks, juice, lemonade and iced tea are considered sugar-sweetened beverages and should be limited or avoided.
…forget that foods can be sources of hydration too! Offer your child plenty of fruits and vegetables which naturally have a high water content.  source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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Krista Yoder Latortue  is a registered dietitian affiliated and educator affiliated with the Community Health department of Baptist Health South Florida.

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