As the summer heat sneaks up on us, so can dehydration if we’re not mindful about giving our bodies the fluids they need to stay healthy. By the time your brain is thinking “I’m thirsty,” your body is already in dehydration mode! Just reminding the kids to grab their water bottles and drink up doesn’t always work, so here are some creative ways to keep them hydrated and having fun all summer long.

  1. Soak your chia seeds

Those little seeds that pack in so much protein and other nutrients have a secret identity – super hydrator! Chia seeds soak up 12 times their weight in water, and provide sustained energy to boot. The trick is to soak them in water for about 15 minutes until they develop a gelatinous coating. You can easily disguise this tasteless gel in smoothies or a delicious coconut “pudding.” Check out the recipe here: http://wellnessmama.com/59344/chia-seed-pudding-recipe/.

  1. Stock up on watermelon

What kid doesn’t love watermelon? It’s delicious, packs tons of nutrients (surprisingly!), and is almost all water. If they get tired of cut pieces, throw some in the blender to make beautiful, instantly hydrating juice. Looking for more ways to get watermelon on to their plates? Here a ton of creative watermelon recipes to chose from: http://greatist.com/eat/healthy-hydrating-watermelon-recipes.

  1. Eat your (raw) vegetables

Since they are made mostly of water, veggies are the perfect way to get extra fluids in the summer months – as long as you eat them raw. If you have kids that shy away from raw veggies, try cutting them up small or grating them to add to salads. Need some more inspiration? http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20306725,00.html.

  1. Pile on the cucumbers

Ubiquitous and fresh in the summer months, cucumbers are 95% water and completely kid-friendly. When cucumber sticks get old for the kids, try slicing them up and adding them to sandwiches. Keeping a pitcher of refreshing cucumber water in the refrigerator is another great way to keep everyone hydrating all day long.

  1. Berry-good smoothies

As sweet and delicious as ice cream but with none of the bad stuff, smoothies can turn ordinary ingredients into hydration superstars. Try blending one up with hydrating and potassium-filled coconut water, banana, and frozen berries (92% water).

Have fun hydrating!

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