We are out on our two week camping road trip, enjoying the summer sun in the Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. I have lined up some fun guest posts for you all.
I met Kirsten a little over a year ago at a Girl Power Hour blogger mixer. She has a very inspiring story of getting healthy and losing 100 pounds. I have also subscribed to her weekly recipe program to help bring some more variety to our dinner table. She is so positive and has great ideas of how to incorporate healthy eating habits into your daily life.
When Sarah asked me to contribute to her blog, I was so happy to jump in! I thought I’d ask her what struggles she may have with her own children and she mentioned water intake was a concern, as it is for millions of moms.
Water is essential of course. While you can go for 6 months without food, you can’t go more than one week without water. But, are your kids feeling like you’re the water police? If your kids are otherwise healthy, you can probably take your badge off and relax a bit!
The good news is that most of the water that we need comes from the foods we eat. Fruits and veggies are mostly water – even meat contains water that our body absorbs. If your kids are drinking milk or juice, they are also getting hydration. The water requirement for most children ages 4-8 is about 4 cups. Likely, they are getting plenty.
It is still a good habit to get into drinking water though. Here are some tips to get them to drink up!
- Keep it coming. Put out a glass of water with every meal and snack. Don’t ask, just provide it. Set it next to their plate and likely they will take a sip.
- Make it fun. Let the kids pick out some cool new water bottles they’ll be excited to use. Here are some cool ones from Camelbak: http://shop.camelbak.com/eddy-kids-4l/d/1184
- Make it tasty. Sure, it’s important to get the kids used to the taste of pure, fresh and clean water. But, let’s face it, kids don’t usually enjoy tasteless, well, anything! You can allow them to add a bit of 100% juice in the form of ice cubes. Let them make them to make it even more enticing! You can also make the ice cubes into fun shapes. Here are some fun ice cube molds the kids may enjoy (I really like the shark fin cubes!): http://www.perpetualkid.com/ice-cube-trays.aspx
- Play drinking games. Yep, start them young. (Kidding of course!) While listening to songs or riding in the car, make a game out of it. Maybe every sign you pass you all take a drink, or while listening to songs you drink every time you hear a commercial break. Allow them to make up the rules to make it even more fun!
- Be a good role model. Gulp the good stuff yourself. Let the kids know some of the health benefits of drinking enough water, or how good it makes you feel.
Here is a delicious water-packed salsa that is delicious served up with baked pita chips or over black beans or grilled chicken and fish. Let the kids get into the kitchen to help make this! The fruit and vegetables are soft enough they can be cut with plastic butter knives easily. Enjoy!
Makes 4-8 servings
1 large cucumber, finely chopped into about ½” cubes
1 cup watermelon, finely cut into ½” cubes
1 lime, juiced
¼ cup fresh herbs like cilantro, basil and mint
1 pinch salt
Optional but delicious addition: crumbled feta cheese
Toss the ingredients together and serve up immediately. If you want to make this ahead of time, toss the cucumbers with the salt and let sit for 15 minutes in a colander. Toss with the remaining ingredients, omitting any extra salt. Enjoy!
Chef Kirsten Helle is a personal chef, nutrition consultant and lifestyle and weight management specialist. She is the CEO of Mesa de Vida…Table of Life. (http://www.mesadeVida.com) Mesa de Vida was voted the top 5 food blogs in Seattle this past year on the Evening Magazine Best of polls. Kirsten shares hundreds of recipes, weekly healthy menu plans (http://www.menusbymesadevida.com) and more about her 100 lb weight loss and information to help you create a healthy family legacy as well! She is the mother to two goofy children, 7 & 12.