What To Feed Kids During a Heatwave
The hot weather can take its toll on all of us – especially the young and the old. So, if you’re struggling to get your children to eat in the hot weather or don’t know what foods to give children in a heatwave, you’re not alone.
We all know that light meals hot weather are a good idea, but what about when it comes to children and toddlers? When it’s heatwave weather, there’s a couple of smart choices to keep everyone hydrated, as well as certain foods to avoid in hot weather. Here’s what you need to know as a parent.
1. Choose foods with high-water content
Wondering what to eat in hot humid weather? Fresh fruit and vegetables are always a good choice for children and adults alike. That’s because foods can make up 20-30% of our fluid intake.
Choose fluid-rich fruit and veg, such as:
- Brocolli (made up of 91% water)
Of these, watermelon (which contain 92% water) and strawberries are amongst the most versatile for serving out to kids and make good snacks to eat in the heat. You can get creative and make a watermelon pizza, or serve them as snacks on their own, or as part of tea. It’s one of the best ways to ensure children keep hydrated, especially if you’re finding it hard to get fluids into them.If you're struggling with a fussy eater, try the Hot Wheels car plate (shown above), to bring kids to the table.
2. Offer lots of liquids
Speaking of which, we all know the importance of keeping little ones hydrated. In terms of liquid intake, NHS Scotland advises to aim for six to eight cups of mugs of water a day. For children under five years old this should be a 120-150ml cup, and for those older than six, it should be a 250-300ml cup.
Although water should be the preference, if you’re struggling to get them to drink as much, many parents add in some squash, or fruits to make it more appealing. You can also water down fruit juice and pop in some ice-cubes
3. Ice-lolly weather
They’re not just outdoor food for hot weather. Lollies can be a good way of keeping the little ones hydrated indoors too. And if a hot balmy day isn’t the perfect excuse for a lolly, then when is? Just keep an eye on the sugar content, as not all ice-lollies are created equally! Better still, why not buy an ice-lolly mould and get making them with the kids using fresh fruits and filtered water? Or blitzed fruits in the form of a smoothie always make a delicious treat. Either way, it’s a fun way to get the kids to load up on fruit too.
4. Go easy on the meat
When it comes to foods to avoid in hot weather, you’ll want to pass on anything that’s diuretic. For instance, sodas, asparagus and foods like mangoes. It’s also advisable to consider light meals in hot weather for the little ones. This is because certain proteins can require your body to do a lot of work, which can have a thermic effect. According to Food Republic, “it can take anywhere from 50 to 100% more energy to break down protein compared to carbohydrates. The moral of the story: Take it easy on the meat.”
5. Try coconut milk and water
For babies over six months old, coconut water is nature’s very own energy drink. The delightful taste is not the only thing – it’s packed with electrolytes which help prevent dehydration. Plus it’s rich in potassium, which helps to regulate temperatures. Add it to your shopping list pronto!
6. Eat more earlier
You might find that children tend to eat more at the start of the day, and feel less hungry/more sluggish towards bedtime in the heat. With this in mind, try front-loading their meals, so they bulk up earlier. Breakfast is a good opportunity to do this.
If you’re looking fore more tips for coping in the heat with a toddler, check out our new post about how to keep cool in the heat.
Please note: Please speak to a professional caregiver immediately if you are concerned about your child being dehydrated. This feature does not constitute professional advice.