Icy cold liquid refreshments such as lemonade, Southern style sweet tea and fruit punch are fine for occasional treats this summer but what your kids really need is WATER!
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that children drink water BEFORE even starting outdoor physical activities. Water breaks are then needed at least every 20 minutes while playing actively in the heat.
What about sports drinks for kids? Despite heavy marketing of these brightly colored sugary mixtures, sports drinks are generally NOT needed. The AAP recommends water (NOT sports drinks) as the main source of hydration. This is especially true for activities lasting less than one hour. A small (8 to 12 ounce) serving of a sports beverage may be beneficial for kids and teens who are playing vigorously in the heat for a whole hour or more.
Make water fun and accessible this summer:
Let your child choose their own colorful refillable water bottle.
Keep a cold pitcher of water in the fridge at all times.
Try floating fresh mint leaves or cucumber slices in the water for a refreshing twist (orange, lemon or lime slices are also a nice addition on occasion.....but NOT so good for the teeth since these fruits are acidic)
At your next Healthy Lifestyles visit, ask out getting some colorful rubber bracelets to help track your child's water intake!