Nutrition Tips by Dr. Deepa Prakash

Summer and the blazing Sun. Hydrate Hydrate! And Have Fun.

As the sun heats up we have more “summer cooler” tips from Dr.Deepa Prakash.

Many summer holiday activities have the kids playing outside for extended periods.  With warmer temperatures, we should consider the additional loss of water due to sweating. If you don’t replace the water they lose, it might lead to dehydration.

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Water is best for staying hydrated. Other drinks like canned fruit juices and fizzy drinks can help quench your thirst but may add extra calories from all the added sugar to your diet.

Data from UNICEF, WHO and World Bank indicate that between 2000 and 2013, the number of overweight children across the globe has increased from 32 million to 42 million. India is part of this statistic. There is an increase in trend in the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages. As a result most children have had an increase of about 150 Kcal energy through an extra sweetened drink daily. Although children can burn energy better than adults by running and playing, more and more children’s activities are now indoors due to the harsh weather. Most families eat traditional, balanced home cooked meals in India, however an area most parents and caregivers over look is water. Giving regular drinks of purified, potable water at home through the day, between playing and after returning home from outside will help keep your child (and also you) hydrated. If your child is better hydrated with water, there are lesser chances to reach out to a sugar sweetened beverage from the fridge, that adds to calories that may probably dilute other nutrients in your child’s diet.

Water is essential for overall good health. The average adult human body is 50-65% water. Our body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in our body needs water to work properly.

For example, our body uses water to

  • maintain body temperature
  • flush out waste
  • lubricates our joints
  • deliver oxygen throughout the body
  • cells to grow, reproduce and survive
  • In digestion

Tips to make it easier for kids to stay hydrated:

  • Add a beverage (preferably non sweetened) with meals
  • Try giving butter milk, unsweetened lime water, fresh juices instead of colas and fizzy drinks
  • Add plenty of fruits and vegetables which are high in water content like water melon, cucumber, tomatoes, bottle guard etc.; they will not only provide hydration but also add fibre to the diet.
  • Always carry a bottle of water everywhere.
  • If  kids don’t like drinking plain water all the time, add a slice of lemon or a sprig of mint in the water bottle.

Happy Holidays !! Stay hydrated ! Stay Safe !

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