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Eat Right: 6 ways to keep your child hydrated this summer season

A nutritionist and an alumna of Apeejay School, Faridabad says that school-goers must take bath with tap water to keep their bodies better hydrated



According to media reports, India, after 146 years, recorded the warmest February this year, with the maximum temperature rising to 29.54°Celsius across the country. This was the highest since 1877. Last month, Mumbai broke all heat records when the temperatures hit as high as 39.4°Celsius. During the same period, Delhi recorded its warmest day of 2023, so far, at 34.1°C.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), last week said that most parts of the country are expected to experience above-normal temperatures in the coming few months. Heatwave days are predicted in most parts of central, eastern, and North-west India.

In the wake of such predictions, we must keep the immunity of our children high and ensure that they don’t become dehydrated. Usually, toddlers and young children are susceptible to health problems like heatstroke and dehydration.

Mansimar Kaur, an alumna of Apeejay School, Faridabad, who is a nutritionist and a dietician with her practice, now that the schools have opened, parents need to be a bit careful given that the temperatures are expected to be above normal according to IMD.

“There are a few simple things that parents can do to ensure that their children maintain high immunity and keep properly hydrated. There are a lot of different ways in which parents can make sure that their kids have enough fluids,” Kaur said and suggested a few things that can be done.

1. Keeping the body hydrated doesn’t necessarily mean that the kids only have plain water. Children can be given fluids in different ways. For example, instead of plain water, parents can add lemon juice to it. Kids can be given fresh juice, buttermilk, coconut water, and even lemonade (shikanji). Many times, toddlers may not be interested in drinking eight glasses of water in a day. But they will be more than happy to have juice and lemonade instead of a glass of plain water.

2. At present a lot of fruits like watermelons, musk melons, mangoes, chiku (Sapodilla/Naseberry), grapes, and mulberry fruit are in the market. Parents can make a fruit salad or even make fruit cream that the kids will eat with relish.

3. There is a reason why vegetables like bottle gourd (lauki), apple gourd (tinda), pointed gourd (parval), and ridge gourd (turai) are eaten during the summer months. These veggies have a lot of water content that can keep the body hydrated.

4. School-going kids can be given a bottle that has a timer that will remind them to have water at regular intervals. This habit can be inculcated at home to ease the child into drinking water even in school. Teach them the importance of water and how it keeps the human body healthy.

5. Incorporate a lot of salad and curd into your child’s diet. Cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce leaves, and red onions are good for children. It can combat heatstroke.

6.  If your child takes a bath in the morning, make sure it is NOT hot water. Hot water baths make the body sweat more since the body tries to cool itself down. A hot water bath can also mask signs of dehydration putting the child at risk.

Kaur stressed the need to make sure that children don’t have water with their meals. “Not only does it hamper proper digestion, but the child may also have a complete meal because the tummy is full as they have had lots of water. Parents can ensure that the children have water after 30 minutes of their meals,” Kaur said in conclusion.

Shalini is an Executive Editor with Apeejay Newsroom. With a PG Diploma in Business Management and Industrial Administration and an MA in Mass Communication, she was a former Associate Editor with News9live. She has worked on varied topics - from news-based to feature articles.