Toddler Nutrition

How to Keep your Kids Hydrated

When the mercury’s rising and temperatures seem to regularly get above 90, it’s important  to keep your kids-and yourself–hydrated.  (Fyi, being thirsty is a sign that you’re already dehydrated.) Keep in mind that children need a lot of water because they are so active, and they need even more when it’s this hot. There is no magic number, but since many kids often don’t ask for water frequently enough, it’s important to keep them hydrated in other ways. Try out some of our suggestions below:

Babies: Infants don’t generally need water because breastmilk/formula hydrate them. However, once your baby turns 6 months, it’s a good idea to start offering water in a sippy cup.

Older Babies:

  • Chilled Soup
  • Yogurt
  • Peaches

Ages 1 – 3:

  • Squeezable fruit pouches, frozen
  • Small cubes watermelon
  • Homemade popsicles (made from juice or yogurt/fruit)
  • Grapefruit or orange slices
  • Drinkable yogurt

Ages 4+:

  • Frozen blueberry/grape halves
  • Seltzer with a splash of juice
  • Smoothies
  • Cold water with pieces of melon or cucumber slices
  • Cherry tomatoes

Healthy Eating Tips for Kids

Jodi Greebel, MS, RD

  • Model healthy eating habits. Your kids will want to eat what you are eating, so try to set a good example. For example, try healthy snacks like dried fruit, yogurt or hummus and veggies. If you are eating chips, don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t want to eat an apple.
  • Get your kids involved in food prep. The more they help out, the more likely they will try the food. Pick age appropriate tasks like washing vegetables, husking corn or scrubbing potatoes.
  • Make grocery shopping fun. Let your kids pick out the fruits and vegetables and put them in a bag.
  • Use dips and sauces. Kids are much more likely to eat fruits and vegetables if they can dip the food into something. Try strawberries dipped in greek yogurt, cucumbers in black bean hummus, celery in salsa, broccoli in ranch dressing….
  • Serve a variety of colors. Make your child’s plate colorful with foods like eggplant, cherries, blueberries, sweet potatoes, asparagus and heirloom tomatoes.
  • Serve foods your child likes along with new foods. It’s easier to get your child to try a new food if they recognize other foods on the table.
  • Offer combination foods which provide more than one food group at a time. This helps maximize the nutrients your child gets. For example, dishes like baked ziti, quesadillas and chili often provide protein, starch and vegetable in one dish.