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Keeping Hydrated In the Heat

I’ve noticed that my girls are
voracious fruit-eaters over the summer – more so than during
the rest of the year. I mean, Maddie and Cora love their fruit and
eat it all day, but in the summer I find myself returning to the
grocery store at least once a week if not more, simply to stock
back up on fruit. Some of this, I know is because there’s so
much great fruit in season during the summer: oftentimes I’ll
wash a couple pints of strawberries and set them out to dry before
storing in the fridge, and Maddie will beg one berry at a time
until almost half my supply is gone, before even getting put away.
Many nights we’ll fix a bowl of mixed berries for dinner,
unable to choose between all the great in-season blackberries and
blueberries and raspberries.

Mmmm. Sounds good. But I digress.

Delicous in-season fruit notwithstanding,
I think my girls scarf down a lot of fruit simply trying to stay
hydrated – their bodies crave the liquid. So here’s my
annual reminder to make sure your kids stay hydrated over the
summer, lest their bodies turn towards constipation and worse. And
as a side note, many people claim their appetite is greatly
increased over the summer. While it’s true that you’re
often more active during warm months, oftentimes feeling hungry is
actually a sign you’re thirsty, so offer your kid a drink
before cracking open that fourth morning snack of the day and see
if the hunger goes away.

We never leave the house any more without our straw cups filled to
the brim with ice and a wee bit of water; the girls love to
“help” fill it up, and see how long the ice will last
in the heat. Water is our only drink choice during our outdoor time
– no milks or anything that might taste funny warm and put
them off drinking as much as they can, and the girls are not yet
into juice. For a special treat, I’ll sometimes put a couple
drops of orange oil in the ice water – they love it.

Food-wise, I often feel like I spend half the summer dicing and
prepping that stupid fruit. I love having found the whole
“Just Tomatoes” line of dried fruit –
freeze-dried with no added sugar – since it’s easy to
carry around for mess-free snacking, but try to avoid too much
dried fruit in the summer in an attempt to squeeze that extra
liquid in whenever I can. Which means that if we head for the pool
for the morning, I’ve got a morning snack of, say, grapes and
cheese, lunch with diced strawberries, and the ever-important snack
for the Long Wagon Ride Home will be orange slices. Lunches I try
to do yogurt for even more liquid, but sometimes yield to the
convenience of a sandwich since Cora can feed it to herself.

And finally, I have those summer “treats” Maddie loves
– homemade sorbet, also known as pureed and frozen fruit. I
throw some mango and pineapple into the food processor, process
until smooth, and freeze in little snack cups. We’ll put it
in the cooler bag for the pool, and by the time we’re ready
for them they’ve defrosted just enough to be eaten with a
spoon like a frozen ice. Maddie and Cora both love them and get the
whole “treat” vibe without the extra sugar popsicles
bring. We’ve also done banana, blueberry and strawberry with
great success, or will simply freeze cups of applesauce for a
similar treat.

I’ll know we’re doing ok if both girls are eating well
and keeping up on emptying their straw cups, and I’ll know
it’s time to up the ante when the poopy train starts to slow

So hit the pools and parks and sidewalks, keep that sippy cup
within easy reach, and don’t stop with the fruit. Good


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