From making new friends to mastering a new skill, summer camp can be an amazing experience your kids will remember for years to come. As a parent, however, you might worry that those long, hot days running around in the sun will take a toll on your kids. Dehydration will sap energy quickly and can be dangerous if not addressed. To make sure your kids stay safe, hydrated, and prepared for a full day of fun, send them off with these nutritious snacks that help ensure hydration for kids.
It should come as no surprise that this one tops the list—after all water is right there in the name! Besides being just over 90 percent water, this beloved and refreshing summer fruit also packs plenty of nutrients. Watermelon is full of vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. They are also an excellent source of lycopene, which is shown to have antioxidant effects. Cut watermelon slices with the rind intact to make it easier for kids to grab and eat without a lot of mess.
Strawberries are another delicious summer fruit with an extremely high water content that most kids will easily gobble up. Besides offering hydration, strawberries are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, among many other <a href="http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2064/2″ target=”_blank”>nutrients. Simply pack up a small cup of whole or sliced strawberries for an excellent snack at any time of day.
Many kids enjoy a crunchy snack, but instead of crackers or chips, why not try a cucumber? Cucumbers boast an impressive 96 percent water content, so hydration comes along with the crunch. If your child isn’t a big fan of cucumber slices on their own, pack along a nutritious dip like some protein-packed hummus.
Celery is another crisp, green veggie that’s full of nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K—and it’s 95 percent water. Celery on its own might be a tough sell for some kids, so if you don’t want to see it still sitting in the lunchbox at pick-up time, jazz it up with a nut butter. Many camps don’t allow peanut butter due to allergies, so opt for something safe, like almond or sunflower seed butter.
Frozen grapes are a popular summertime snack in my house, and since they’re about 81 percent water, they also help us stay hydrated. Freezing them ensures they’ll stay cold all day long and gives them an ice cream-like texture that will make kids feel like they’re enjoying a special treat.
It goes without saying that drinking water is the best way to ensure hydration for kids, but it’s not always easy to make sure your kids are drinking as much as they need to when you’re not around to remind them. One way to keep your kids drinking water throughout the day is to make sure the water stays cold. The last thing anyone wants on a hot day is a sip of lukewarm water. Invest in some large, reusable stainless steel bottles that help insulate water and keep it cold much longer than plastic bottles. Add plenty of ice, which will not only help keep the water cold, but will also create more water once it melts.
You might also consider sending two bottles to make sure your child has enough water to last the day. If you do, consider making one of the bottles a “fun” water. It can be tempting to pack fruit juice, knowing that kids will drink it, but many fruit juices are packed with sugar, which can actually encourage dehydration. Instead, try naturally sweetening some water by adding in a few watermelon cubes or frozen berries.
What are some hydrating snacks your kids love to take to summer camp? Share anything we missed with us on Twitter.
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.