Keeping kids hydrated is just as important as making sure they eat a balanced diet, but when kids are inundated with advertising for high sugar drinks all presented in enticing packaging it can be hard to persuade them to have healthy alternatives like plain water or healthy drinks. One effective way to encourage good hydration habits is to offer your child flavoured waters or low-sugar cordials. Cordial is a fantastic way to give a standard glass of water a bit of punch and makes a tasty replacement for a can of sugary soft drink. What’s more, cordials let you dictate portion control so you know how much sugar your kids are taking in from their drinks.

Why hydration is so important?

Drinking

According to the Natural Hydration Council children need the following daily intake of water from food and drink:

Boys
2-3yrs – 1..3 Litres
4-8yrs – 1..6 Litres
9-13yrs – 2..1 Litres
Over 14yrs – 2..5 Litres

Girls
2-3yrs – 1..3 Litres
4-8yrs – 1..6 Litres
9-13yrs – 1..9 Litres
Over 14yrs – 2..0 Litres

Children over the age of one should be having 6-8 drinks per day. For toddlers these drinks should be about 120-150ml and for older children about 250ml (so a normal sized glass). Kids’ bodies are made up of 60% water and it’s essential in performing crucial processes within their bodies.

Water:

* transports nutrients and oxygen around the body;
* gets rid of waste products, controls temperature;
* helps the digestive system to function;
* keeps skin healthy.

Recent research has also indicated that proper hydration improves children’s mental performance at school. We all know what dehydration feels like; headaches, sleepiness and dry skin are unpleasant and no one wants their child to suffer from these symptoms.

How to keep them hydrated

All liquids will provide your child with some hydration and getting them to drink sugary soft drinks isn’t much of a challenge, but especially high sugar drinks have been directly linked to weight gain and obesity in children. So how do you encourage them to drink healthy options?

The aim is to get your child to automatically drink water throughout the day. Of course, water isn’t always the most appetising option. This is why making it more interesting works. You can easily make your own flavoured waters by steeping fruit in big bottles of water over night in the fridge. The kids can help you decide on flavours and make the drinks which will make them all the more appealing.

Another option is to make your own cordials. Making your own gives you complete control over the sugar content of the drink and again is a fun activity to do with the kids. It’s really simple to make a cordial of any flavour you like if you follow this basic base recipe:

Lemons

The Sugar Syrup:

- Combine 1 part sugar with 1 part water in a pan
- Slowly bring mixture to the boil whilst stirring constantly to dissolve sugar

Cordial Recipe:

- Choose your fruit flavour and squeeze to create a fruit juice (if you’re combining flavours then mix them together and if you’re adding anything like mint then let the mint steep in the juice for a certain amount of time)
- Combine 1 part sugar syrup with 1 part fruit juice and chill.

And there you have it! A basic cordial to get you started. If you’re making a citrus-based cordial then try adding a teaspoon of citric acid or tartaric acid per litre as a preservative which will make it last about a month; the perfect way to stay hydrated, healthy and satisfied!

CGP

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 Posted by Charlotte on April 3, 2013 Uncategorized  Add comments

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