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Agua Fresca

A friend who grew up in Mexico first told me about agua frescas: hearing her describe the variety of blended fruity waters was enough to make me want one immediately. This melon agua fresca recipe from Smitten Kitchen is simple enough for kids to help out with, and it is so tasty and refreshing! It calls for club soda or seltzer, which is a real treat for my kids since they’ve never had soda.

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Infused Waters

Try out one of these recipes for fruit and vegetable-infused waters to make drinking water more exciting!

I was a camp counselor for several years, and one of our favorite, no-fail tricks for keeping our kiddos hydrated was to challenge them to a water drinking contest. We always let the kids win, but that was our secret! If a simple contest isn’t enough to draw them in, make it more fun by modeling it after other drinking contests. For example, anytime their favorite song comes on in the car, they have to take a swig.

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Smoothies for Breakfast

Get kids off to a liquid start in the morning. Check out our favorite Inhabitots smoothie recipes that will let the whole family get a jump on their hydration, and that are packed with healthy fruits and veggies!

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After a playground playdate or a romp on the beach, a great thirst-quenching snack is a popsicle. Make them with fruit juices or purees, coconut water, or yogurt and you have a filling snack that takes the edge off the heat. Another bonus, popsicles are tricky for little ones to eat so even the most active tot may sit down and chill out for a minute or two while slurping away!

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Image © flickr user Pen Waggener

Iced Tea

Sipping iced tea in a tall glass on a porch swing sounds mighty good to us (or at least to our Gone With the Wind alter egos). Commercial iced teas are often heavy on the sugar, so make some of your own at home. Tisanes (an herbal tea made by infusing plants or herbs with water) are naturally caffeine free. Or you could try rooibos tea. Just make some hot tea, add a drop of your sweetener of choice and maybe some fresh mint or basil, and then chill in the fridge. Making tea is also a fun kid-friendly activity.

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Can’t make it to Spain this summer? You can still chill out and hydrate the continental way with some non-alcoholic sangria. This recipe from The Kitchn is super-hydrating, combining several fruit juices, tea, and chopped fruit. It also calls for some carbonation, but we sipped it without and still deemed it delicious! We also swapped out the black tea for some caffeine-free rooibos and cut the sugar level waaaay down, opting for a bit of agave instead.

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The other day, my son requested a popsicle, but he was not excited about having to wait for hours for them to freeze up. A quick solution: homemade slushies. Simply add some ice along with juice or caffeine-free tea to a blender and whirl until well-blended. You can also add fresh mint or basil and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice We love using orange juice, and the above slushy is a combination of orange and pomegranate juice, but trying different flavor combinations is part of the fun!