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How to Keep Your Kids Hydrated and Healthy

By Sara Butler

Children are busy little people, and in the hot summer months, it’s important to make sure they are hydrated as they go their busy ways. After all, kids tend to get so wrapped up in what they’re doing they may not notice they’ve not taken a drink in a while. And when they do realize they’re thirsty they might try to talk you into some sugar-laden drink from the nearest vending machine rather than a drink that will actually quench their body’s thirst. Here are the best, and the worst, drinks to keep your children hydrated!

Calories and Caffeine

When choosing a drink, you have to think about its nutritional content. Childhood obesity is a major problem in the United States, so serving them empty calories in sodas is not recommended. Also, the average soda contains about four teaspoons of sugar in just 12 ounces – and that’s not healthy or recommended for a growing child.

Also, think about caffeine. Some energy drinks have as much caffeine in them as four cans of soda. That seems like a recipe for disaster!

The Good

So, what drinks are recommended for children? You obviously can’t go wrong with good, old-fashioned water. Not only is it the most hydrating beverage, it’s also the best beverage to quench thirst without added calories, sugar, fat or caffeine. Plus, you can throw in a little fruit, cucumber or mint to jazz it up for them!

Milk is also a great beverage choice. Not only is it nutritionally important to a growing child and full of protein, vitamins, and minerals, it’s also relatively low in calories and contains good fat. If dairy milk isn’t a good option for your family, you can also try coconut milk, almond milk or soy milk. As long as your child is getting between 16 and 24 ounces of milk per day they are on the right track – and will stay hydrated too!

The Bad

So what are some drinks you should avoid giving your child? Flavored milk is a big no-no. The added sugar in chocolate milk is the same as a can of soda. The added sugar is not needed or good for your child.

Fruit drinks are also on the bad list. Lemonade, pouch drinks, fruit punch and the myriad of other fruit drinks on the market are not better nutritionally than a can of soda. They should be eating their fruit and not drinking it.

These are just a few of the guidelines for keeping your children healthy and hydrated! If you have questions, ask your pediatrician or chiropractor during your next visit!

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