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With three kids all in school, I pack a lot of lunches every week. When I am putting them together, I take a few things into consideration. For starters, I want their lunches to be healthy and nutritious, but I also want them to EAT them. So, I am sure to pack things that are fun, good for them, and are kid sized. Lastly, I take their hydration seriously, so I always pick their drinks very carefully. If you are packing 15 lunches a week like me, then you know how costly these snacks and drinks can add up. Why not try and save a little money and make some items yourself? Today I am sharing some tips on keeping your kids hydrated while at home and school. I am also sharing my favorite homemade lunchbox sized Chocolate Chip Granola bars- that taste just like those ones that come in the box.
Did you know that most kids probably aren’t getting enough water into their diet? I know as an adult, I’ll have days where my water cup with be barely half gone by the end of the day–and I’m a grown up! Kids are even busier than me! They are always running from one place to another, playing and jumping. It’s very important to keep their hydration needs into account when planning your day out. Nestlé® Pure Life® recently surveyed* moms and kids and found that 33% of kids found it hard to remember to drink water during the day, but only 52% of moms remember to remind their kids to be drinking enough water! Drinking water is one of the biggest “healthy habit” struggles moms have with their kids (38%). That ranks higher than other healthy habit struggles including, “eat your fruit” (29%), “get enough exercise” (23%), and “eat your breakfast” (19%). Between water, milk, juice, and soda, moms say water makes up 67% of their daily beverage intake, but it makes up only 48% of their kids- that’s not a good thing. Kids need plenty of water just like adults, yet they aren’t getting it. There are ways to fix this though, and I have some simple tips to share!
For starters, it’s so important to have plenty of water around for kids to grab and drink on their own. Any time I am at Walmart, I’ll pick up some bottles of Nestlé® Pure Life® water. I love their corporate stance on hydration around the world. Nestlé® Pure Life® has committed to provide nearly one million 8 ounce servings of water to kids this school year at over 20 participating schools in select markets across the country through After-School All-Stars. As a proud supporter of the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Drink Up initiative, Nestlé® Pure Life® is committed to helping families make healthier choices, starting with hydration. While we do use reusable water bottles too, I love having cases of water in our garage fridge that are ready to grab and go when we are in a rush, or when they kids are playing outside and want to grab some themselves.
Having active kids always on the go, I know keeping them hydrated is so important. Here are some proven strategies from Robin Plotkin to help get your kids to drink more water!
-Never leave the house without water. According to 88% of moms surveyed, water is the beverage their child most regularly drinks in the car so make this a healthy habit by making sure that each of your kids has a bottle of water in hand before they leave the house. My kids know when we leave, they are to grab their waters, so this habit can certainly be taught!
-Pack water in your kid’s lunches instead of juice.
-Lead by example: if your kids see you drinking water, they will often too!
-Challenge your kids to a “who can get to their water goal faster” game.
-Teach your kids how to get or fill up their own waters, if they can do it themselves then they are more likely to drink water throughout the day.
-Use fun straws, cups or stickers on their cups to encourage your kids to drink more.
Nestlé® Pure Life® believes in what they call “The Ripple Effect”: this is knowing that to establish healthy habits early in life can have lifelong benefits. So if we teach our kids to reach for water first, they will more likely to continue this habit later in life! A recent survey* found that kids who drink 4+ glasses of water per day are more likely to exhibit healthy habits, such as getting their own water when they are thirsty or eating their fruit and vegetables at meal times without reminders- and doesn’t that just sound like every parent’s dream??
What goes best with some icy cold water? How about a seriously delicious homemade chocolate chip granola bar that is perfect for lunchtime or as an after school snack! These granola bars are super easy to make and use only eight ingredients- yes only eight!
These bars are essentially no bake, except for roasting the oats for a few minutes, so they can be whipped up in no time and be stored for a week individually wrapped so you can toss one in lunch boxed and your kids will be so thrilled!
- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups puffed rice cereal
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 4 tablespoon coconut oil
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper and spray it with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Once your oven is preheated, lay your oats on a cookie sheet and roast them for 4-5 minutes until they are golden brown, watching them to be sure they don't burn.
- While your oats are roasting, in a small sauce pan, melt together your sugar, honey and coconut oil over medium heat and let it bubble for 1-2 minutes. Add the vanilla and set aside so it can cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, place cereal, toasted oats and salt and stir to combine. Once the sugar mix is cooler, pour it into the oat mix and stir well.
- Let this mix completely cool and then stir in the chocolate chips. (Be sure to wait till it's cool or else you will have melted chocolate everywhere!)
- Pour the mix into your pan and press down with another piece of parchment paper so it's flat. Let cool completely in the fridge for at least and hour and then cut and serve, or wrap the bars so they will hold for a week or so.
By packing our kids healthy and fun snacks for lunch with some water, they are going to be better fueled for their day so they can do their best school work and have enough energy to play all afternoon too! To help your family Drink Up and be part of the Ripple Effect, visit pureliferippleeffect.com and share your tips for healthy hydration using #pureliferippleeffect, and be sure to check out Nestlé® Pure Life® on Facebook too!
I’ve shared my tricks for keeping my kids hydrated with Nestlé Pure Life Water, what are your tricks for helping to keep your kids hydrated throughout the day?
*Online survey conducted in June 2015 of 1,077 moms of kids ages 6-12 overall, including 254 Hispanic moms of kids ages 6-12. 1,077 kids ages 6-12 from the same household were also surveyed, including 254 Hispanic kids ages 6-12. © 2015 Nestlé® Waters North America Inc.
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