Summer Foods: Healthy, Hydrating, and Easy

These will keep you cool in the heat

We all know summertime is hot, especially for those who live in southern or desert climates. It’s important to stay hydrated while the temperatures are warm, and luckily there are some healthy ways to enjoy summer and stay hydrated at the same time.

Hydration Recommendations

What do our bodies really need to stay hydrated? The following recommendations include the total amount of water we get from all beverages and foods.

Generally, most people get 80 percent of fluids from beverages and 20 percent from foods they eat.

  • Toddlers need around five and a half cups of fluid daily
  • Children up to eight need around seven cups
  • Pre-teens need about nine cups
  • Teen boys need around 11 cups
  • Teen girls need almost 10 cups
  • Adults need around 11 cups

So choosing foods that are high in water content can help us stay hydrated while we’re still working to consume enough fluid through beverages.

Focusing on low calorie beverages—mostly water—is the best way to stay healthy and hydrated. Calcium-rich beverages, such as milk, are also good choices. Stay away from sugary drinks, including soda and fruit-flavored beverages. Drinks containing 100 percent juice have a place, but focusing on whole fruits and vegetables is best.

Hydrating Foods

Increasing your hydration can be as easy as choosing more fruits and vegetables. Did you know that many fruits and vegetables are 80 precent to over 90 percent water?

Item

Percent Water

 

Item

Percent Water

Apple

84

 

Broccoli

91

Banana

74

 

Cabbage (green)

93

Blueberries

85

 

Carrots

87

Cantaloupe

90

 

Celery

95

Grapes

81

 

Cucumber

96

Peach

88

 

Lettuce (iceburg)

96

Pear

84

 

Peppers (sweet)

92

Pinapple

87

 

Spinach

92

Strawberries

92

 

Zucchini

95

Watermelon

92

 

Tomato

94

Hydrating Food Ideas

It’s easy to see that even our most common fruits and vegetables pack a hydrating punch!

So filling our plates with these nutritious choices not only adds essential vitamins and minerals but also hydrates us at the same time.

For easy snacks, wash and pre-portion individual servings. Keep them within easy reach for quick, healthy snacks that are super grab-and-go friendly.

And what about adding some of these fruits and vegetables to water for a yummy fruit-infused water? The combinations are endless! Here are a few tasty ideas:

  • Cucumber, lemon, and mint
  • Strawberries and blueberries
  • Oranges and blueberries
  • Strawberries, lemons, and blueberries
  • Cucumbers, strawberries, and kiwi

Just add water and give them some time to cool and let the flavors combine. This is a great way to add a little excitement to plain water! It’s easy to get and stay hydrated when it tastes this good!

A few other great ideas for easy, healthy, and hydrating foods for summer include:

  • Cold Soups: Many feature vegetables as the base and are high in water content. Try a gazpacho-style dish.
  • Fruit popsicles: There are plenty of no sugar added popsicles on the market or you can even make your own! Kids love to get creative with their ingredient combinations and enjoy eating their healthy creations.
    • Sensational salads: Combine just about any fresh fruits and veggies together and you can make an appetizing, interesting side salad dish. Use some of the higher water content fruits and veggies to pack in even more hydration.

    There are lots of healthy, easy ways to stay hydrated this summer! Find the ones that work best for your family and enjoy!

    Source

    Bowes & Church’s Food Values, 1994

    Continue Reading