Fun Ways to Hydrate

I’ll be honest, my kids do not like drinking water. It’s always a challenge to keep them hydrated in the summertime and I’ve had to be a little creative in finding flavored waters and alternatives that don’t have a lot of sugar. So because today is National Hydration Day, I’m sharing a few ways I’ve learned to keep my children (and myself!) hydrated.

Watermelon Pops

Ingredients

  • 3 cups watermelon, washed, chopped, seeds removed
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries, washed
  • Freezer Pop Molds

Directions

  1. Blend watermelon, lime juice and sugar in a blender until smooth.
  2. Divide blueberries among freezer pop molds.
  3. Pour watermelon mixture in each pop mold. Leave a little room at the top.
  4. Insert the sticks and freeze until firm, about 6 hours. Dip the molds briefly in warm water before serving.

Fizzy & Fruity Water

Ingredients

  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 3/4 cup sparkling water

Directions

  1. Put two ice cubes into one serving cup.
  2. Add orange juice.
  3. Add sparkling water.
  4. Stir and enjoy.

My tricks come from the University of Maryland SNAP-Ed Eat Smart program, which provides full recipes and a blog. Follow them for more kid-friendly recipes!

Making Sense of Cents

With the start of summer, I thought I would share some resources available for youth about money. Teaching youth about money is like building a strong foundation for a house. The strong foundation will last a lifetime and support everything that is built on top of it. For example, early discussions about the difference between wants and needs is a simple concept that youth can understand. An individual needs to eat, but they don’t need the candy bar at the check-out line. This blog will focus on resources, especially books, that teach youth about money.

So let us begin with the Money as You Grow materials available by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The site contains materials for all ages of youth, but for this blog I will focus on resources for younger youth. There is a list of books suggested that focus on money skills which can be found at Build your child’s money skills while you read. There is also information on ideas to keep reading fun and a guide for parents.

Another great resource is the Federal Reserve Bank system. Each regional office has a host of financial resources. The two that I primarily use are the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. There include both online games as well as printed materials. I like to use the Great Minds Think: A New Guide to Money and My Money. Both are workbooks that can be ordered or downloaded which include several activities that promote personal finance.

If you would like a broader search you can use the Jump$tart coalition. There are over 100 organizations and state coalitions that make up the coalition that focuses on advancing youth financial literacy. Their site includes a list of resources. A quick search of children and money found 162 resources available.

I would also invite you to check out my Extension colleagues in 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences. There are local offices in every county, in every state in the U.S. A resource available to you from 4-H is Reading Makes Cents. This booklet includes 53 activities focused on saving, spending, sharing, earning, and borrowing.

I encourage you to take a step forward and teach your youth about finances. As you are aware, this is a topic youth will deal with throughout their lifetime. With that said, start your youth on a solid foundation.