31 July 2007

Tricks for keeping toddlers hydrated

Beat the heat with some kid hydration hacks, from Sara:

We're traveling in the very hot and dry country of Turkey this summer with a two year old, and have found the following to be helpful in keeping her hydrated:

"Juicify" your water. Miss J doesn't get much juice, so a little bit poured into a glass of water at mealtimes encourages her to down multiple glasses. We just add enough to change the color of the water, but it's enough to make it into a different drink and encourage drinking through novelty.

Get a special water bottle for the trip. Miss J has an affection for (our) water bottles to begin with, but for this trip I got her a special pink insulated water bottle (the kiddie kind with the built in straw and the lid that flips down to seal it). She's been carrying it around like a stuffed animal! It definitely makes it easy to encourage drinking, which is what we are after.

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My spawn would probably adore having a water bottle of her own. I'll have to remember that before the next long trip -- thanks!

Something we do when she's got a cold, or when we otherwise want her to down a lot of fluids without getting extra sugar --- we make big pitchers of iced herbal tea. She's especially fond of Celestial Seasonings Tangerine Orange Zinger. It's sweet enough that she'll drink more of it than plain water, but there's nothing in there that I don't mind her having.

I do a fair amount of hiking with my toddler, and my old 100oz camelback wasn't cutting it for both of us anymore. We dropped by REI and picked up the kid's camelback for our son.

With a 50oz reservoir, adjustable shoulder, chest, and waist straps, and a backpack area, it's become our son's favorite "cup". He'll happily wear it all day and it's less stressful for me as well, since my son is in the "take it out, put it away, repeat 100 times" phase right now.

My spawn would probably adore having a water bottle of her own. I'll have to remember that before the next long trip -- thanks!

Something we do when she's got a cold, or when we otherwise want her to down a lot of fluids without getting extra sugar --- we make big pitchers of iced herbal tea. She's especially fond of Celestial Seasonings Tangerine Orange Zinger. It's sweet enough that she'll drink more of it than plain water, but there's nothing in there that I don't mind her having.

We've found that filling the water bottle or sippy cup with ice cubes, then topping it off with water, can make ordinary water seem extraordinary to little ones.

Oooh! If you shake it, it makes NOISE!

And it's COLD!

And the outside of the bottle/cup gets WET!

It's amazing how much entertainment some ice cubes can yield--and how much more water-drinking they can encourage.

We use food coloring to make water more exciting. Our kids (1.5 and 3) call out what color they want - purple, orange, blue, red, etc. We drop the food coloring (one or two drops is all it takes) into a clear sippy cup, put on the top and let them shake it up. They have a ball and actually learn about color mixing at the same time. The little food coloring bottles travel very well in the box.

I bought the PUR water filter with flavour catridge. Sugar free and additive free, just a little squirt of flavour to our filtered tap water and my year old son cant get enough.

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