Children run and play hard in 70 degree weather just as easily as 90 degree weather so it's real important to keep them well hydrated. Under hydrated children suffer from urinary tract infections, decreased resistance to disease, crabbiness and listlessness. Under hydration can quickly turn to dehydration which is acutely serious.
There are many nutritious alternatives to kool-aid , Dr. pepper, and other fruit flavored squeeze box drinks . There are two and half tablespoon of sugar in 8 ounces of soda, visual that ! Sugar consumption can also contribute to dehydration.
The trick is to offer something good that they will drink without a lot of sugar.
Try Rooibos tea a drink from South Africa that has been used for centuries to treat babies with colic. Rooibos tastes just like our regular ice tea with a vanilla aftertaste. Many add a dried vanilla bean to the rooibos tea canister for the added taste of vanilla. This wonderful tea has no caffeine and is full of trace minerals that the body needs to maintain a proper electrolyte balance during the hot summer months.
The cousin of Rooibos is the Honeybush tea which is naturally sweet and also provides a ton of trace minerals. These teas add to the growing bone structure instead of destroying it like the sodas do.
They taste great with a orange slices or strawberry slices floating in the tea.
Try making your own root beer with this mixture of herbs.
REAL ROOT BEER
2 tsp sarsaparilla root
1 tsp licorice root
1 tsp wintergreen leaves
1 tsp stevia leaves (for sweetness optional)
1/2 tsp cinnamon bark
2 cups water
1 quart carbonated water
Simmer herbs in the water in 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Cover the pan and let cool. Strain out herbs, add carbonated water and serve.
Purple Pineapple drink
1/4 cup soy milk
1/2 cup pineapple juice
¼ cup of blueberries or any other berries in season
1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
1 banana, peeled
2 teaspoons Flaxseed oil
( provides Essential Fatty Acids which are greatly missing from the American diet)
1 tablespoon wheat germ
Using a blender, whirl the soy milk, pineapple juice, pineapple chunks, blueberries, banana, wheat germ, and oil until smooth. Pour into a glass
1 cup of chocolate soy milk
1 banana peeled
½ cup of ice cubes
1 tablespoon of peanut butter
Whirl away until smooth ! Pour into glasses
1 cup of soy milk
½ cup of brewed then cooled peppermint tea( fairly strong)
1 cup of ice cubes
handful of fresh spinach leaves
( don't let anybody see you do this.. it will make the drink green but not interrupt the flavor, adds nutrition)
You may need some raw sugar for this
Whirl away until smooth ...pour into glasses
You can also make some diluted herbal teas and add ice to them.
Lemon balm with lemon slices or peppermint make a refreshing drink .
There are also teas called tisanes which the main ingredient is a variety of dried fruit.
They make great cold drinks great smoothies and flavored ice cubes!
These drinks are a good way to offer nutrition and keep the children and the big kids drinking too!
By Lucinda Jenkins LPNHC
Lucinda is the owner of Glenbrook Farms Herbs and Such an on-line site for medicinal herbs as well as cooking herbs and spices. They also have great selection of gourmet teas such as the Rooibos & Honeybush teas.