Beat the Heat with Summer Foods for Kids: Avoid Heat Stroke

Beat The Summer Heat: Best Hydrating Food For Kids

11 Apr 2019
Beat The Summer Heat: Best Hydrating Food For Kids

Well, summer for kids is synonymous with summer vacations, where they are loaded with plenty of fun outdoorsy activities.

Amidst the thrilling summer adventures, it is very essential for a parent to understand the importance of summer hydration foods. Summers tend to make children stress-free, jumping with excitement and joy, relishing their time, and basking in the sun and dirt throughout their vacations.

However, according to UNICEF, extreme heat conditions prove detrimental to children as they fail to regulate their body temperature like adults. They tend to absorb more heat from their surroundings, thus resulting in various physical and mental health issues that even end up impacting their education and overall well-being.

Understanding Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a serious condition resulting from prolonged exposure to high temperatures. The most serious form of heat injury can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.

Heat stroke requires emergency treatment and, if left untreated, can quickly damage your heart, brain, kidneys, and muscles, ultimately resulting in death.

Before the heat stroke, your child would experience a mild level of heat exhaustion. This is often the result of extended hours in the outdoor heat and becoming dehydrated due to excessive loss of water in the form of sweat.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion in children may include:

  1. An increased body temperature
  2. Cool, clammy skin despite the heat.
  3. Fainting, dizziness, or weakness.
  4. Increased sweating or thirst.
  5. Muscle Cramps.
  6. Nausea or vomiting.
  7. Flushed Skin.
  8. Racing heartbeat to help the body regulate the body temperature.
  9. Confusion or slurred speech.

Young kids are more sensitive to dehydration because they tend to sweat more compared to adults. Also, kids have a smaller body mass to surface area ratio than others, making them more vulnerable to heat-related phenomena than others.

Children’s bodies are more vulnerable to climate change compared to adults, and therefore, it is highly essential to prevent heat stroke in children.

Refreshing Summer Foods for Children

Well, as the mercury rises, drinking water may, of course, help, but it is not enough to prevent heat stroke in children. Thus, it is the responsibility of the caretakers to include rich, hydrating foods for children in their daily diet.

Here is a list of refreshing, hydrating summer foods for kids to prevent heat stroke during the summer:

1. Lemonade

Lemon is the storehouse of vitamin C. It is also rich in vitamin B6, copper, potassium, magnesium, zinc, flavonoids, antioxidants, and phosphorus.

Vitamin C present in the body helps in the process of iron absorption due to the presence of an acidic gastrointestinal environment, which is necessary for its adequate absorption.

Lemon supports heart health, boosts immunity, improves digestion, controls weight, prevents kidney stones, and is also good for hair.

So, relish an easy homemade lemonade recipe this summer with your kids!

2. Watermelon Juice

Watermelons are the best source to quench thirst due to the presence of 92% water.

It is packed with nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids, lycopene, and cucurbitacin E that help against the growth of free radicals in the body, thus protecting against life-threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Adequate hydration is necessary for the body to regulate the optimum temperature, support nutrient transport, facilitate digestion, maintain electrolyte balance, and lubricate the joints.

So,let your kids enjoy a healthy and refreshing homemade watermelon recipe this summer!

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants and protect the cells from harmful UV rays. They contain 95% water and also help fight constipation.

It is rich in vitamins A, B2, and C, folate, chromium, fiber, potassium, and phytochemicals, thus helping to fight against cancer, autoimmune disorders, and various heart ailments, thus providing a healthy life to children.

This summer, try a new yummy homemade  tomato recipe  for your kids!

4. Cucumber

Cucumber is a highly hydrating food that helps regulate the blood sugar level, soothes the skin and eyes, prevents constipation, and also helps in the weight loss journey.

Cucumbers contain antioxidants, vitamins K, B, and C, and minerals like copper, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium that are essential for the growth and development of your children.

Keep your kids hydrated with a homemade cucumber recipe this summer!

5. Coconut Water

Coconut water is a powerhouse of nutrition and, thus, one of the best cooling foods for kids. It has a high amount of calcium, potassium, sodium, vitamin C, protein, a healthy dose of carbs, and natural sugars. Each serving has only 46 calories.

It has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties that improve blood circulation, thus providing enough oxygen to the skin to remove impurities.

It is one of the best drinks for summer heat as it helps in developing stronger bones, eliminates the risk of kidney stones, treats intestinal worms, prevents muscle cramps, and also acts like a diuretic.

It is also one of the best sources of monolaurin, which strengthens the immune system and provides children with lauric acid, which is one of the best sources of nutrition after breast milk.

Incorporate coconut water recipe into your kid’s chilling drinks  this summer!

6. Buttermilk

Buttermilk is a natural coolant for the body that contains healthy bacteria, aiding in digestion and improving metabolism. It also regulates good bowel movements and prevents stomach infections, lactose intolerance, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.

Also, it keeps the hair and the skin healthy by flushing out all the toxins from the body, maintains cardiovascular health, facilitates liver function, and prevents memory reduction, vision decline, wrinkles, and graying of the hair.

Buttermilk also acts as an energy booster, which is vital for the body's energy production and regulates the body's amino acids, responsible for the production of protein.

It also helps to remove tans, acne, and blemishes, thus delaying aging.

So, Churn that buttermilk recipe and let your child relish the refreshing flavor!

7. Onions

Onions are an excellent source of hydration, especially during heat waves. It is a rich source of sodium and potassium that helps maintain the body’s electrolyte balance.

It is also packed with essential minerals like vitamin C and phytochemicals like flavonoids, polyphenols, and sulfur compounds like allyl sulfides, thus making it an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-cancer health tonic.

The compounds present in it, like quercetin and sulfur, help regulate the body temperature by allowing heat loss through evaporation and also treat heat allergies like rashes and insect bites. It also helps with digestion and is a good immunity booster.

The chromium compound present in it helps regulate blood sugar, thus increasing urine production and flushing out all the toxins from the body.

Let your kid relish the flavor of raw onions recipe this summer!

Besides these hydrating foods, drinking water at regular intervals is one of the best ways to stay hydrated during the summer. Here are the seven best times to make your child drink water and their benefits:

  1. After they wake up, it activates their internal organs.
  2. After playtime, it normalizes the heartbeat.
  3. Thirty minutes before a meal helps in proper digestion.
  4. Before taking a bath, it helps lower the blood pressure.
  5. When they are feeling tired, it recharges their entire body system.
  6. When they are ill, it hydrates the body for its proper functioning.

Hydration Hacks To Motivate The Kids To Consume Summer Foods

The kids tend to do just the opposite of what is told to them or expected of them. However, there are many creative ways to make children eat healthy, nutritious, and hydrating foods.

One of the best ways to ignite the kids’ curiosity about healthy and refreshing food habits is by communicating with them about their importance.

It is believed that early exposure to the kid’s familiarity and acceptance of different flavors and textures helps them adapt faster and easier compared to their late introduction to these healthy tonics.

Some summer hydration tips for kids to encourage them to consume summer foods are:

1. Creative cut-outs: Encourage kids to carve interesting cut-outs from watermelon, strawberries, apples, and cucumbers and consume them.

2. Popsicles: Make homemade popsicles from fruit juices or fruit purees and make the children enjoy those little fun balls.

3. Smoothies: Blend in some apples, strawberries, bananas, and yogurt. You can also sneak in some spinach or bell peppers.

4. Fruit-infused drinks: Make a jar of fruit-infused drinks with tangerine, oranges, berries, apples, pineapple, and coconut water. Keep the jar within reach of your children and see them sip it with glee!

5. Salads: Prepare interesting salads, including cucumber, cabbage, tomatoes, onions, and yogurt, and make it a habit to serve them either with the meals or before.

Include your children in the preparation of these yummy treats while also communicating their importance in the daily diet. Their efforts in the making of these snacks would always leave them curious to consume them too, thus fulfilling your motive for their proper hydration.

Also, remember, children follow in the footsteps of their caretakers, so be mindful of the example you set for them. Avoid forcing your child to eat, and give them the freedom to choose what they like. This way, you will have a clear idea about how to incorporate the nutritious veggies or fruits that they do not eat by making healthy recipes out of them.

Conclusion

On average, the human body is made up of 60% water, and to sustain the proper functioning of the various body organs, protect joints, flush out toxins, enhance cognitive development, enhance mood, or bring nutrients to body cells, the body demands proper hydration.

Children who drink water from an early age are highly likely to keep drinking as they get older. Sometimes, using fun, colorful bottles also encourages children to drink more water.

Encouraging children to snack on water-rich fruits and vegetables can be achieved through positive reinforcement, the inclusion of kids while preparing the fun recipes, and giving them the freedom to choose their favorite fruits and vegetables.

Remember to stay patient during the process of exposing them to healthy recipes. Also, encourage them to stay hydrated by appreciating them for every milestone they reach with respect to their proper hydration.

Faq's On Beat The Summer Heat: Best Hydrating Food For Kids

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