Here Comes Summer!
Posted on: Tuesday June 4th, 2019
Posted by: Lisa Ruscica
This Friday, June 21 marks the summer solstice! Besides being the first official day of summer, this is the day when the sun reaches its highest point in the sky, making it the longest day in the year. So much extra sun and outdoor activities can cause serious dehydration. I’m here to help!
Making hydration a priority for children is very important. Kids don’t always recognize thirst the way adults do, especially when they’re having fun. And if they were to recognize it, by that time, their little bodies are already dehydrated.
Teaching children about hydration is a very important lesson. One that’s best taught young. So...why is it important?
Explain to children that their bodies are made up of 70% water. That’s even more than adults! You can tell them that this level can go up and down and they need to keep it topped up to be strong and healthy. One fun way to show children the importance of hydration is the sponge metaphor. Get a dry sponge and ask your child to touch it. Show them that the sponge is rough, dry and cannot do its job unless it’s filled up with water. Together, fill the sponge with water and get your child to feel it. Now the sponge feels soft, alive and able to do its job! Explain that like a sponge, they need water to be healthy, strong and do their job of having fun, learning and playing! Now, let your child squeeze out all of the water from the sponge. Let them know that just like the sponge, our bodies lose water, too. This happens through the toilet, sweating and too much sun.
To keep reinforcing the importance of hydration to children, you should be acting as a role model. Always have a water bottle on hand when you’re out of the house and drink water with your meals. Kids are very observant and will follow what they see! In order to up the hydration this summer, here are a few extra things you can do!
Serve water-dense foods. Serve fruits and vegetables with high water content. This includes foods like cucumber, watermelon, celery, peaches, oranges, lettuce and zucchini.
Fresh Spring Rolls are one of my absolute favourites. And they’re so simple. You’ll need rice paper wraps, which are easy to find in most grocery stores, and fresh produce. I like to add shaved carrots, lettuce, cucumber, basil and chicken. The options are endless. Peppers, meats, avocado and herbs are all wonderful additions.
- Cut your veggies and other ingredients in small strips.
- Once you’ve prepared your veggies and other ingredients, run your rice paper wrap under warm water until it begins to soften.
- Put down the wrap, add your desired ingredients.
- Roll. I suggest tucking in the ends in first and then rolling the rest (like a burrito!).
Make water fun! Add fresh slices of lemon, lime or berries to your water for a fun twist. Ask your children which fun flavours they want to try and pick up the ingredients together! My two favourite combinations are orange/kiwi and strawberry/lime. Yum!
All you have to do is clean your fruits, cut them into smaller pieces and place them into your water. Leave them for a few hours before drinking to get the most out of the flavours!
Chef Lisa Ruscica
Chief Food Ambassador