Over the past few weeks, the weather has been full of thunderstorms, torrential downpours and grey skies, but I'm hopeful that the summer can't be too far away. That will mean lots of days out, long walks, picnics at the beach, playing football in the park, bike rides, swingball, geocaching, running up and down hills, ladybird hunting, the list is endless... all of which leaves the kids feeling hot and sweaty. Ask them if they want an ice cream or a bar of chocolate and they'll inevitably say yes, but offer them a drink and more often than not, they'll say they're not thirsty or they'll have one later because they don't want to stop playing yet.
Keeping your kids hydrated during the summer months can actually turn into a bit of a headache. Two thirds of parents (64%) say they don't know how much water their kids should be drinking and almost half (42%) say that their children find the taste of water ‘boring’. I must admit, when I was a kid, I always used to say I didn't like the taste of water too. With hindsight, it was probably the taste of chlorine in the water that I didn't like rather than the water itself, but I'd never drink a glass of plain water - it would always be a glass of fruit juice, fizzy pop or radioactive-looking orange squash filled with e-numbers ! Luckily, there are healthier options available these days. Robinsons, who launched the Enjoy Drinking More Water campaign in January 2016, use real fruit in their squash and no added sugar, artificial colours or preservatives. Their Squash’d super concentrated squash range comes in a bottle so small that you can fit it easily in your handbag, kids' backpack or even the glovebox of the car, making it cheaper and easier to keep your kids hydrated this summer. We received a gift box including six delicious flavours of Robinsons Squash’d, along with a star chart to help track our water-drinking progress, and the kids have been having great fun mixing up the flavours and guzzling gallons of water !
Robinsons asked us to share our top tips to #EnjoyMoreWater so here are our fun ways of getting the kids to drink water like they oughta !
Get scientific - Put an old washing-up sponge outside in the sun then come back and see how dry and shrivelled up it looks later in the day. You could even get creative and add googly eyes so it looks like Spongebob Squarepants ! Explain that this is what happens to your body when you don't drink enough water. Kids always love yucky stuff too so show them an online "wee-checker" so they can check if they are starting to get dehydrated. This is guaranteed to have them drinking loads so that they can keep running to the toilet to check the colour !
Ice is nice - Water doesn't just come in liquid form so making iced lollies in a variety of flavours is a simple way to keep your kids' water levels topped up. The Squash'd squeezy bottles are ideal for this because the kids will make a lot less mess than using the big bottles if they want to help. They also give a lovely strong flavour.
Funk it up - Let's face it, water IS pretty boring most of the time, but it doesn't have to be ! When I was in Poland, I discovered infused-water - jugs of water in restaurants with anything from orange, lemon and lime wedges to strips of cucumber and sprigs of fresh mint in them. You can also make ice cubes with berries in or use a Sodastream machine to add bubbles to tap water.
A lotta bottle - Finding drinkware that appeals to the kids is always a great way to encourage them to drink more. At home, tumblers featuring their favourite characters or curly straws are ideal, but buying a water bottle for when you're out and about is also essential for the summer. These easy-to-hold sports bottles got a big thumbs-up from the Madhouse kids and the fact that they have them constantly at hand during long walks always encourages them to drink more.
Feeling fruity - Take advantage of summer fruits to make smoothies and juices - have you ever tasted pure fresh strawberry juice from sieving crushed strawberries? It is absolutely divine. We also had fun last year making honeydew melons into edible drinking vessels for special fruity cocktails. After having a drink, you get to eat it which even saves on the washing up !
Have you got any top tips for getting your kids to drink more over the summer?
Disclosure : This post is an entry for BritMums #DrinkMoreWater Challenge, sponsored by Robinsons