Hydrating Diet for Children During The Summer

Discover the secrets of a hydrating diet for children in summer. This prevents the heat from putting their health at risk.
Hydrating Diet for Children During The Summer

Last update: 17 May, 2021

Did you know that you need to increase fluid intake in hotter climates or when exercising? Although it’s recommendable to drink 1,5 to 2 liters daily, you can also find water in food. So, the daily recommendation can also be covered in the food you eat. Therefore, we strongly advise creating a hydrating diet for your children in summer, as they’re more vulnerable to dehydration.

In addition, the body contains 60-75 percent water, so drinking water regularly is common sense. It also doesn’t contain calories and it provides mineral salts. It even regulates body temperature and facilitates digestion. Additionally, it reduces appetite and caloric intake, the keys to controlling obesity.

Want to know how to keep your children well hydrated through their diets? Read on to find out.

Hydrating diet for your children during summer

A child drinking water.

The water content of food 

Did you know that fruits and vegetables contain 80-95 percent water? And yet these are the foods that we consume below the recommendation of five servings a day. In addition, the summer season brings us those foods with the highest water content, such as watermelon, melon, asparagus, and leafy green vegetables. That’s why it’s time to introduce them to your children too.

We also find dairy products, especially milk, followed by meat, fish, and eggs. However, please be aware that the content decreases or increases with cooking depending on the type of food. For example, legumes need a pre-soak and therefore go from 7-10 percent to 70-80 percent. In contrast, the water content is lower in baked or grilled fish than when it’s raw.

Hydrating drinks for children 

As we discussed earlier, water is an essential drink for children whose consumption depends on thirst. Sometimes they reject it because it lacks flavor, but there’s a solution. How? A few drops of something citrusy, and aromatic. Herbs and tea can be added to water. You can also add slices of fresh fruit and vegetables and let them rest for a few hours in the refrigerator. You can now enjoy a homemade soft drink!

With regard to soft drinks, you should limit their consumption, since it only provides sugar or sweeteners and, although difficult to understand, they dehydrate. They’re often accompanied by other products such as salty snacks and sweets, so they become an energy boost.

Other useful drinks are milk and vegetable drinks, which are usually the second choice for little ones in the house, according to the DONALD Study. They have the advantage of being rich in calcium and vitamin D.  As for vegetable drinks, which are substitutes for milk, it’s important to know that until one year of age they’re not recommended.

Another advantage of milk is that you can create numerous smoothies by adding fruit and blending it. You can even compliment them with nuts and seeds, or flavor them with cinnamon and cocoa powder. They’re a great option, as it gives children energy.

Fruit and smoothies.

Finally, there’s a dilemma with juices. What’s better, natural, or packaged? What’s clear is that they’re not the same as whole fruit, since fiber is removed, making sugar absorption faster. That’s why dietitian-nutritionists recommend that fresh, fruit juices should be consumed occasionally and prioritized. Although they’re sold as without added sugar, these juices have the same effect as if they were.

An example of a hydrating diet for children in summer 

  • Breakfast. A glass of milk or oatmeal beverage with added sugar-free cocoa powder and natural yogurt with red fruits (fresh blueberries and chopped strawberries) and cinnamon.
  • Morning snack (if hungry). Peanut butter sandwich and slices of banana.
  • Lunch quinoa salad, lentils, tomato, avocado, and carrot, and three apricots. Accompanied with a homemade soft drink of water with peach, lemon, and thyme.
  • Snack. Two whole-wheat toasts with hummus.
  • Dinner. One bowl of gazpacho with chunks of vegetables and croutons and cheese tortilla and watermelon with lime and mint

Tips to prevent dehydration of children during summer

In short, children are more vulnerable to dehydration in summer, particularly when the temperatures are very high. Therefore, it’s important that, for small children, fruits and vegetables are part of their daily diets, just as drinking water is part of a hydrating diet for children in the summer.

For prevention, children should be drinking water throughout the day and try to stay cool during the hottest hours. Also, it’s important to wear a cap that protects them from the sun.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Agencia de Salud Pública de Cataluña. (2017) El agua. [Consultado el 21 de julio de 2020] Disponible en: https://canalsalut.gencat.cat/ca/vida-saludable/alimentacio/els_aliments/laigua/ 
  • Departamento de Salud de Cataluña. Hidratación en la infancia.
  • Julio Basulto y Carlos Casabona (2020) Beber sin sed: Guía para elegir bien lo que bebes. Editorial Paidós: España.
  • Ministerio de Sanidad, Servicios Sociales e Igualdad. BEDCA (Base de Datos Española de Composición de Alimentos).
  • StahlA; Kroke, A; Bolzenius, K; Manz, F (2007) Relation between hydration status in children and their dietary profile – results from the DONALD study. Eur J Clin Nutr, 61(12): 1386-92.
  • Bougatsas, D; Arnaoutis, G; Panagiotakos, D B; Seal, A D; Johnson, E C; Bottin, J H et al (2018) Fluid consumption pattern and hydration among 8-14 years-old children. Eur J Clin Nutr, 72(3): 420-27.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.