Among the many things parents have to take care of for kids, one is their hydration, which can impact their bodies. Water is critical for maintaining fluid balance, supporting digestion, promoting kidney function, enhancing physical performance and regulating body temperature. Proper hydration also boosts cognitive function, mood, skin health, and weight management. And therefore, the kids must drink enough fluids throughout the day.
While water is the go-to option for hydration, there are several other drinks for dehydration that also offer valuable nutrients. Let’s know the beverages that quench thirst, replenish electrolytes and provide essential vitamins and minerals. From electrolyte-enhanced water to nutrient-rich smoothies, we have covered them all here. Thirst
Hydration Drinks for Kids
1. Water with added electrolytes
Water is, without a doubt, the best drink for dehydration. However, during intense physical activity or in hot weather, your kid may require more than just plain water. Electrolytes, including potassium, magnesium, and sodium, maintain hydration and support various bodily functions. Fortunately, you can find water with added electrolytes in stores or enhance plain water with electrolyte tablets or powders. These beverages help replenish the minerals lost through sweat, making them a fantastic choice for hydration and overall health.
2. Coconut water
Coconut water is a natural and refreshing beverage that hydrates your kid’s body and provides essential nutrients. It is rich in electrolytes, particularly potassium, maintaining fluid balance and regulating muscle function. Additionally, coconut water contains some carbohydrates, making it the best drink for dehydration besides water. It’s also an excellent choice for replenishing energy levels after physical activity. Whether enjoyed straight from a coconut or found in packaged form, coconut water offers a delicious and nutritious way to stay hydrated.
3. Nutrient-packed smoothies
Smoothies are an excellent way to combine hydration and nutrition in a single beverage. Blending fruits, vegetables, and a liquid base can create a delicious and nutrient-rich concoction. Leafy greens add vitamins and minerals, while fruits like berries and bananas provide antioxidants. Add a protein source such as Greek yoghurt or a plant-based protein powder, and enhance the smoothie’s nutritional value. Almond milk, coconut water, or plain water can serve as the liquid base, ensuring proper hydration. Smoothies are versatile and can be tailored to specific dietary needs and taste preferences, making them an ideal option for a quick, on-the-go meal or as a post-physical activity refresher.
4. Milk or plant-based milk alternatives
Dairy milk or plant-based alternatives, including almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk, hydrate your kids and offer vital nutrients. These beverages are excellent sources of calcium, protein, and, depending on the fortified version, vitamin D. Whether enjoyed on their own or incorporated into smoothies or shakes, milk or plant-based milk alternatives can be a valuable addition to your kid’s daily hydration and nutrition routine.
5. Moong pani
Moong pani, also known as moong dal water, is a traditional Indian beverage made by boiling moong dal — yellow lentils — in water and adding cumin, salt and black pepper. For our ancestors, it was perhaps the best hydration drink. It offers several health benefits and keeps the body hydrated due to its high-water content. Moong dal is rich in protein, fibre, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to overall nutrition and energy. The fibre content in moong dal aids digestion, helps regulate bowel movements, and can alleviate constipation. We often consume it during summer for its cooling and refreshing effect.
6. Homemade ice pops
Homemade ice pops made from natural fruit juices or purees can be a healthier alternative to store-bought popsicles. Ice pops are a fun way to increase hydration in kids, especially during hot weather or after physical activity. If made with fruits, homemade ice pops can be a source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. By making them at home, you control the ingredients and can limit artificial additives. Ice pops provide a refreshing treat that can help cool down and satisfy a sweet craving.
7. Turmeric latte:
Turmeric latte or golden milk is a warm beverage made of turmeric, milk (or plant-based alternatives), and spices like cinnamon and ginger. It has gained popularity due to the potential health benefits associated with turmeric. It contains a compound called curcumin, known for its anti-inflammatory effects. It may help alleviate inflammation in the body. Curcumin is also a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Turmeric latte provides a comforting and warming sensation for kids, making it a cosy beverage option for winter or rainy season.
8. Sattu buttermilk
Sattu buttermilk is a traditional healthy drink prepared by mixing roasted gram flour (sattu) with buttermilk (yoghurt diluted with water) and adding spices like roasted cumin powder, black salt, and mint leaves. It keeps the kids hydrated and offers essential electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium. The fibre content in sattu aids digestion, helps maintain bowel regularity and may prevent constipation. Sattu buttermilk is known for its cooling properties, making it a popular choice during summer to beat the heat.
What to avoid
While we focus on hydrating drinks for kids, it’s perhaps equally important to know the beverages that may cause dehydration. Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea, energy drinks and soda can have a diuretic effect, increased urine production and fluid loss. Excessive consumption of these beverages can contribute to dehydration in kids.
Besides these, certain sports drinks or packaged fruit juices can contain sodium in high quantities. While sodium is a crucial electrolyte for hydration, excessive intake can disrupt the body’s fluid balance and contribute to dehydration.
And while moderate amounts of 100% fruit juice can contribute to hydration and provide some nutrients, excessive consumption can lead to dehydration. Therefore, we must monitor how much fruit juice our kids consume.
Encourage healthy hydration habits and educate your kids about the potential dehydrating effects of certain drinks. Lead by example and make hydration a priority in your household. Drink water regularly and make it a part of your routine. Ensure the water is readily available to your children. Have water bottles or cups filled with water accessible at home, school, and when travelling. Since kids often take to habits if they are fun, consider using colourful water bottles, adding fruits for flavour or using fun straws for hydration juice. You can also set hydration goals and reward them when they meet them.
Incorporate water-rich foods such as fruits (watermelon, oranges), vegetables (cucumbers, celery), and soups into your children’s diet. Experiment with different options and find the ones that suit their taste preferences and dietary needs. Cheers to hydration and nutrition!
The views expressed are that of the expert alone.
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