Best Summer Hydration
August 2021
Can you believe this heat! In hot weather, a child may need to drink more fluids to stay hydrated. Water is always the best option; offer it throughout the day. For a bit of flavour, add mint leaves, lemon or orange slices, or ground berries of any kind to the water. Adding different shapes of ice cubes or using a colourful water bottle or fun straw may also encourage children to drink more water. 
Unsweetened milk or fortified plant-based beverages are also healthy drinks. (Look for options with no added sugars). Note: plant-based beverages can be used to prepare foods for young children, but they should not be given as the main milk to drink to children under 2 years of age. These beverages are too low in protein and energy for proper growth. More information about plant-based beverages can be found here.
Limit drinks that have higher amounts of sugar, caffeine or sugar substitutes. Fruit drinks, iced tea, pop, sports drinks and slushes are all high sugar choices. Sports drinks are not needed for most activities. Water is the best choice before, during and after regular activity. The table at the end shows the amount of sugar in common drinks.
If looking for a sweet tasting treat, a healthier option is a  homemade smoothie. A general rule of thumb is about ½ cup (250 mL) fresh or frozen fruit, ¼ cup (125 mL) yogurt, and ¼ cup milk or plant-based beverage per serving. The result is zero added sugars! Here is a refreshing smoothie recipe from Dietitians of Canada. It adds fresh spinach; kale would also be an option! For another cold summer treat, freeze the smoothie mix in popsicle molds.
For more information about healthy drinks or to get a pdf version of the Alberta Health Services Healthy Drinks, Healthy Kids handout click here. This is a great resource to share with parents.

You can also display the Drink milk at meals or Drink water throughout the day posters at your centre. These 2 posters can be printed to any size but can also be ordered (free, part of a set of 10 posters) from
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