Got Water? Healthy Ideas to Stay Hydrated this SummerJun 01, 2021
As the weather gets warmer, staying hydrated and drinking enough fluids becomes more important than ever. Once we notice that we are thirsty, we may already be dehydrated. But how much fluid do kids need to drink? That can vary from person to person, just like how much food we need.
The Institute of Medicine recommends the following amount of total fluid for kids every day:
- Children age 4-8: 1.8 liters total (about 7 cups)
- Boys, age 9-13: 2.4 liters total (about 10 cups)
- Boys, age 14-18: 3.3 liters total (about 13 cups)
- Girls age 9-13: 2.1 liters total (just above 8 cups)
- Girls age 14-18: 2.4 liters total (about 10 cups)
So, what fluids should kids drink? Sweet beverages like sodas, fruit punch, lemonade and juices, though they might sound great on a hot day, may actually increase thirst: because they are so concentrated, the body draws water into the gut to dilute all that sweet stuff.
How about sports drinks? Most still have a lot of sugar, along with food colorings and other additives. Save sports drinks for physical activities lasting longer than an hour, or when exercising in hot, humid weather.
- Try these drink ideas instead:
- Make your own soda! Start with sparkling water, add some frozen fruit, and mix in a teaspoon of sweetener, like sugar or maple syrup.
- Make your own sports drink: a pinch of salt, a squeeze of citrus juice, and a teaspoon of syrup (maple or ginger syrup are great choices) added to water; then shake or stir and enjoy!
- Fruit infused water: Add your favorite fruit to a pitcher of water and let it sit for 1-2 hours and enjoy. See page 2 for recipes
Did you know that not all our water comes from drinking?! Other fluids like milk or juice are mostly water, and we get water from our food too: all food has some water, but fruits and vegetables are tops at 80-95% water! Adding water to foods like oatmeal or soups also counts.
Try: freeze grapes for a sweet hydrating snack.
Fruit Infused Water
Adding fruit and herbs to water can make a great way to add fun and flavor to water. Just add your family's favorite summer fruits to water pitcher or mason jar, add water and chill for 2-4 hours, and enjoy. Here are a few of our favorite recipes:
Our favorite fruit infused water combinations:
Grapefruit, lemon, rosemary
Lemon, cucumber, mint
Oranges & blueberries
Strawberry & lime
Watermelon & cucumber
Seltzer water & lime
by Rana Parker, MPH, RDN
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