Updated: Jul 28
As a registered dietitian and a mom, keeping my kids properly hydrated is always top of mind. Proper hydration is essential to assure their brains and bodies perform at their absolute best .
This summer my son has been attending football tryouts two nights a week in the squelching heat. Therefore, I like to come up with new, easy and appealing ways to encourage him to stay hydrated day in and day out. Even though he drinks enough water throughout the day to stay adequately hydrated, it is essential to make up for the sweat loss and to be ready for the next workout by rehydrating soon after practice.
Simply drinking water post-exercise is adequate as long as food that provides some key electrolytes such as sodium and potassium is also consumed. Since we have supper after he comes home from tryouts he would be able to rehydrate with simply drinking water. Even so, I find that he gets tired of water by this time in the day and needs something a bit more exciting to help him consume the fluids necessary to replenish. So, I often treat him to this super Easy Real Fruit Slushie as a beverage with his supper.
I always keep frozen strawberries on hand to make several different recipes such as this. The strawberries contribute some fluid to this recipe, but more importantly their natural sugar provides carbohydrates that are good for replenishing the muscle's stored energy. Pineapple juice is another source of sugar (ie: carbohydrates) and a small amount adds a powerful punch of natural sweetness. So, I like to keep the small cans of pineapple juice on hand to make this a simple process. For the primary liquid I typically use coconut water as it has some sodium and potassium to aid in regaining electrolyte balance, along with a little natural sweetness, without too many calories. Of course, water would work as well since the majority of the sweetness comes from the pineapple juice. Finally, I adjust the amount of liquid depending on if he is in the mood to drink it through a straw or use a spoon.
Of course, even though his number one sister doesn't expend the energy that he does during football, she gets a little of the same treat for being a good sport while watching and waiting! All the more reason I like to keep a special treat like this as low calorie as possible.
While the blender or NutriBullet is dirty and the ingredients are out, I make a little extra to put into popsicle molds to be enjoyed as an low calorie afternoon treat on another day without the mess. It is also fun to switch up the types of fruit to create your own favorite flavor. Heck, sometimes we even skip the fruit completely and do a frozen chocolate milk as a fun way to replenish electrolytes, rehydrate and get a serving of dairy in all at once!
What is your favorite treat to make to help keep your kiddos well hydrated?
Easy Real Fruit Slushie
· Frozen Strawberries
· Ice cubes
· Pineapple juice or frozen pineapple
2. Grind on high until the mixture is smooth.
3. If you want it thinner add more liquid and grind again.
4. Serve in your favorite glass.
5. Place extra into freezer pop molds and save for an after school hydration snack later.