Parents often wonder how to maintain their kids’ health. One important step that may be overlooked is to ensure that young children are properly hydrated. It can also be a challenge for parents to create a menu kids will enjoy that meets the recommended Daily Value (DV) of vitamins and nutrients.
“By including U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified organic fruits and vegetables in your children’s diets, you can help ensure your child is staying hydrated from the water in them, while also consuming the necessary vitamins, minerals and protein that they need to grow healthy and strong,” says Dr. Deena Blanchard, Pediatrician at Premier Pediatrics in New York City and a consultant for Ella’s Kitchen brand, which makes organic food for babies, toddlers and kids. “Nutritional shakes provide proteins, vitamins, and minerals, the necessary building blocks of a healthy immune system, to supplement kids’ daily diets for complete nutrition; and electrolyte waters with naturally-occurring electrolytes can also help keep kids hydrated.”
Dr. Blanchard recommends the following tips to help parents make good choices for their children.
• Hydrate children, especially when sick: When children are sick, the importance of proper hydration cannot be overestimated. If eating or drinking is difficult, try giving your child smaller amounts, more frequently. Choose water, 100 percent juice or drinks that contain naturally occurring electrolytes and other components that help support kids’ immune systems.
• Choose wisely: Watch out for artificial flavors, colors and preservatives as well as the amount of added sugars in sports drinks and other beverages. It is important to provide kids with beverages that are free of artificial ingredients and contain fruits and vegetables. You can be sure you’re avoiding those additions when you choose USDA organic beverages, such as Ella’s Kitchen Organic Coconut Water Electrolyte Drinks or their new Smoothie Drinks, which provide one full serving of fruit per 8 fluid ounces.
• Don’t forget to hydrate when playing sports: Kids can become dehydrated while playing sports or engaging in other physical activity. At the ballpark or playground, it is important to keep drinks on hand. Good choices include organic fruit and veggie purees, which contribute significant water to the diet and naturally-occurring electrolytes for natural rehydration.
• Supplement: Though vital to proper growth and development, meeting the recommended daily intake of vitamins and nutrients can be tough, especially for little ones who are picky eaters. A tasty, protein-packed nutritional shake can help parents ensure kids get the calories and nutrition they need. Consider trying Ella’s Kitchen Coconut + Milk Nutritional Shakes, which are made with certified USDA organic low-fat milk, fruit + veggie purees and coconut water, providing 44 percent of the recommended DV of protein, 30 percent DV of calcium, as well as vitamin B12, riboflavin, iodine and electrolytes. Made with ingredients parents recognize, these shakes provide a boost of nutrition with a taste that kids will enjoy.
In the warmer months, proper hydration is especially crucial for healthy. Parents should seek out choices for kids that support a healthy immune system.