So, we are on a hydration kick this past week. Why? Because 3-year-olds can get UTI’s (um, urinary tract infections, in case you were wondering). As this is a baby/child food blog, I will spare everyone the gory details (though believe me, I have about 10 posts worth of drama, moaning, crying and insight into how to get a toddler to pee into a cup). Anyway, the number one advice from the pediatrician? DRINK!
Not THAT kind of drink, sadly (though today’s recipes are perfectly able to accommodate a wee dram of vodka or rum when the kiddies go to bed). 🙂
Drink, as in water. One of the most basic and lovely beverages. Until it isn’t. Water can be bland or beautiful depending on your viewpoint. To my toddler, endless amounts of bland water was getting pretty tiresome. But we had to make her drink! Juice wasn’t the answer. A few ounces of the stuff here and there is fine, but it’s still too sugary and filling for a little tummy. Water needed an exciting make-over fast.
Mommy, put on your public relations hat and get to work! How can we make water yummier?! Flashier?! More marketable?!
The first thing I thought of was spa water. Remember the last time you went to a spa? Maybe, like, ten decades ago before you had a child? I’ve only been once or twice (pre-children), but I remember fondly the cucumber-infused water they gave me in the waiting room. How refreshing! And what a simple way to flavor water, I remember thinking.
Flash-forward to life with a toddler. We had some cucumbers from our garden and I decided to give the spa trick a try:
To sweeten the deal I also chopped up some fresh strawberries:
Add some ice and voila! Natural. Fresh. Homemade. And most of all, convincing. To a toddler who really wants juice:
This combination was SO GOOD! I had really forgotten how tasty and easy this water drink was. Admittedly, I’m not always the best water drinker either. But I know not only do I have to be a good role model for Kirina, it’s also hot outside and I’m nursing my baby, Ela, on top of all that. Hydration is super key right now. Kirina and I lapped this water up and I found a whole new way to be creative with food. Herbs too.
Masala baby indeed!
Kirina and I brainstormed the following ideas together for other flavored waters. The easiest and most baby-friendly herbs were mint and basil. To prepare: simply muddle a few leaves at the bottom of a glass or tear with your hands. Add your fruit and ice and allow the whole thing to soak together for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy! Infuse longer for stronger flavor; strain with a tea strainer if you don’t want leaves in your little’s way.
Here are 21 of our favorites (we’ve made it through about half these combos so far. Not a one has been rejected!).
21 Toddler-Approved Flavored Waters
2. Cucumber Strawberry
3. Cucumber Mint
4. Mango Strawberry
5. Strawberry Mint
6. Orange Mint
7. Mint Lime
8. Blueberry Basil
9. Raspberry Lime
10. Raspberry Mint
11. Watermelon Mint
12. Guava Strawberry
13. Pineapple Peach
14. Peach Basil
15. Blueberry Orange
16. Lemon lime
17. Blueberry Lemon
18. Strawberry Lemon
19. Strawberry Orange
20. Cucumber Watermelon
21. Mango Strawberry
The flavor combos are endless, so have fun! This is only a starter list. Stay well and stay hydrated!
From Kirina’s highchair to your little one’s, bon appetit!