Children are very prone to dehydration. We often work hard at making sure our kids eat their meals and snacks but hydration often gets overlooked.
Children are even more prone to dehydration because of their size, activity level, often lack of interest in drinking fluids, as well as dealing with sensitive taste buds.
If you notice that your child is not urinating frequently and/or their urine is of a darker color and has a strong smell, your child is probably dehydrated. Dehydration can show itself as constipation, low energy, crankiness, nausea, dry mouth, dry skin, lack of tears, skin that does not bounce back when pinched, sunken eyes, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, and even headaches, to name a few!
One of the best ways to help with hydrating the body is to encourage the consumption of vegetables and fruit, especially fruit. Fruits are jam-packed with micro-nutrients and lots of water.
Easy ways to encourage fruit eating, is to:
. Lead by example! Eat fruits often and find creative ways to eat more fruits and to try new fruits
. Incorporate fruits into meals as salsas, in salads, as toppings on desserts etc.
. One of my favorite ways and it works very well. Leave cut up pieces of fruit in the reach of children. When my daughter has friends over for a sleepover for example, in the morning I knock on the bedroom door and say something fun like “Room Service” and deliver a plate of various fruits cut up. They always eat it! They may not eat the whole plate but they always eat quite a bit.
. Make fruit bowls. Take a banana and chop it up in small pieces or even mash it and then add any other chopped fruit that you like. I change it up all the time and add things like chopped apples, berries, pears, melon and whatever I feel like. I even sometimes drizzle maple syrup or honey on top for added nutrients and for more deliciousness. I have not met a person yet, child or adult, who can resist my fruit bowls. When you make them into bowls like this it is like eating something substantial and the taste is incredible!
. Make fruit smoothies and homemade fruit juices. There are tonnes of recipes if you search Pinterest or Google. I saw one the other day where you put frozen pineapple and orange juice and it looked amazing!
. And on that note, keep bags of frozen fruits in your freezer and let the kids go at it. My daughter loves to make smoothie concoctions with her friends and they have a lot of fun doing it. Frozen fruits make it really easy.
. Lemon water is a GREAT way to hydrate the body. In the morning juice a half of a lemon, add hot water and a bit of honey in a large cup or tea pot and let it sit for a minute. This is the BEST way to start the day. It wakes up and energizes the liver, provides micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals, and hydrates the body big time! It is a great source of Vitamin C too. Anytime you can add lemons or the juice of lemons to your child’s diet, it’s a big win! Squeeze lemons on salads and even vegetables and other foods. Lemon helps to kill bacteria and also enhances the flavors in food. You can’t go wrong with lemons ever!
Lemon and honey water
As a side note, as a Nutritionist who is also a forever learner and education seeker, I can say with complete confidence that I NEVER worry about the sugar in fruit, if that is something that comes to mind. The natural sugars in fruit are necessary for the brain and the liver to function properly. People are suffering out there because a lack of this natural sugar!!!! And let’s face it, it is almost impossible to have our kids overeat the healthy stuff, so I just work at ‘more’… getting in more of the good stuff.
I hope you found this post on hydration helpful and happy fruit chopping! 🙂
Maggie Holbik.com is a Board Certified Nutritionist, Registered Nutritional Therapist, Natural Nutrition Clinical Practitioner, and Certified Life Coach who loves being a Mom to her daughter Sivanna Roses… as a side note Sivanna is working on a presentation for school called “Healthy Eating” and her mom is quite proud of this. 🙂 Oh ya!
It is so easy to make nutrient rich flavored water. You can virtually throw in any fruits or berries that you like, optional herbs, add some fresh filtered or distilled water and a little sweetener if you like. I use honey but stevia would be another alternative. The longer it sits the better it gets! I find the kids love these drinks and they are so pretty too!They are called “Aids” because they aid in both add hydration and providing nutrition for the body.