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Hydration for the Whole Family

Staying Hydrated to Maintain Good Health
By DuPage Medical Group Primary Care



Water is important to your overall health and plays a vital role in several critical bodily functions. Throughout the day, water loss can occur through a variety of activities, primarily through sweat and urination. In order to balance out water loss, The National Academy of Medicine recommends an average daily fluid intake of about 15.5 cups of fluids for men, 11.5 cups for women, four to six cups for children under the age of 8, and six to eight cups for children 8 years and older. This includes fluids from a variety of sources other than water, such as certain beverages and food.

The amount of water needed to stay hydrated varies by individual, and there are a few important factors to consider, including:

  • Your overall health
  • Your activity level and sweat rate
  • Environmental factors including temperature and humidity
  • Whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding

Dehydration is your body’s way of telling you that you have lost too much fluid. If you experience signs of dehydration, it is important to increase your fluid intake to minimize the negative impact on your health. Common symptoms of dehydration include:  

  • Feeling thirsty
  • Your mouth is dry
  • Feeling tired
  • Urinating less frequently
  • Urine appears darker than normal
  • Developing a headache
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Dry skin
  • Hunger

Dehydration can affect anyone; however, children are more likely to become dehydrated than adults. It can be difficult to get your kids excited about staying hydrated, and in some cases, extra measures may need to be taken to ensure they are getting enough fluids. To ensure that your family receives the fluids they need, try some of these tips to make staying hydrated more fun.

  1. Hydrate with more than just water.

You can receive proper hydration from other liquids, including:

  • Coconut water
  • Milk
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Fruit juices and sport drinks
  1. Consume foods that boost your hydration.

There are a variety of foods that can provide additional fluids, including:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Green Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Grapefruit
  • Cantaloupe
  1. Use fun cups and straws to make drinking more appealing.
  2. Try adding fruit to your ice cubes or water to add additional flavor.
  3. Use a water chart to incentivize kids to drink water.

Track each glass of water they drink with stickers. Set a weekly goal, and if they reach their goal, reward them with a prize.

  1. Offer water with meals and snacks to make drinking water part of your child’s routine.  
  2. Make hydrating snacks together. Try one of these easy-to-make recipes, rich in fruits and vegetables that your whole family will enjoy.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Fruit Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Watermelon
  • Plum
  • Cherry
  • Grape
  • Kiwi
  • Coconut

Preparation:

  • Cut the watermelon into pizza-type slices.
  • Cut up the other fruits
  • Use the watermelon as the “pizza crust”
  • Layer the plum as “onion”
  • Layer the grapes as “green olives”
  • Layer the cherries as “black olives”
  • Layer the kiwis as “pepperoni”
  • Layer the shredded coconut as “cheese”
  • Serve to your family

Homemade Fruit Popsicles

Ingredients/Preparation:

  • Fruit juice of your choice: such as orange, lemon, guava, grape or apple
  • Chop small or thinly sliced pieces of fruit, such as watermelon, strawberry, kiwi or mango, to include in the popsicles
  • Add yogurt as a source of protein and to add a creamy, smooth texture
  • Put the ingredients into a freezer mold and add popsicle sticks
  • Freeze the popsicles for about 4-6 hours
  • Enjoy!

Incorporating new and fun ways to encourage your kids to drink more fluids throughout the day will help ensure you and your family gets the fluids needed to stay healthy.

Speak with your primary care provider to learn more about ways to maintain good health for your whole family. To schedule an appointment with a DuPage Medical Group provider, please visit https://www.dupagemedicalgroup.com/online-schedule/.



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