Friday, July 29, 2011

Homemade Flavored Waters: Chug-a-lug!


We all know how important it is to drink a lot of water, especially during these summer heat waves. Staying hydrated is especially important for pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as children. And yet so many kids -- and lots of nauseated pregnant gals -- are just not into drinking plain water.


You may be tempted to drink soda or juices, but those sugars are absorbed very quickly into your blood during pregnancy; a large release of insulin then becomes necessary to maintain your normal blood sugar levels. It's not good for you or for your baby. Plus, sugary drinks are very caloric and -- whether you're pregnant or you're a pre-schooler -- you don't need to be packing your body full of empty calories.


Of course, it is important that kids and adults alike learn to drink and enjoy plain water. But for those times when you need a little something extra, you can add some flavor to your water without adding lots of sugar and calories. Here are some fun, easy ways:



Add sliced whole fruit. Lemons and limes are always good, of course, but how about some wonderful grapefruit! Tastes terrific and, if you eat the grapefruit, you can fight the swelling and water retention associated with pregnancy. Peaches or apples would be nice, too.


Make whole fruit ice cubes. Add fruit to your tray, then fill with water. The cubes add a lovely flavor to the water and then (bonus!) you can eat the fruit when you get to the bottom. Like a sangria without the wine! My son was all up in my grill when he saw this; he wanted a sip of "fruity water."
Raspberries and and small pineapple chunks frozen into cubes


Add herbs to your ice cube tray before filling with water. I tore up some mint leaves for the cubes, then used a cucumber spear as a stirrer. It was a spa-worthy glass of refreshment, let me tell you.




Freeze pureed fruit into ice cubes. I did that with my Watermelon Mint Slushie. This is a great way to use up fruit that is overripe, or a little mealy -- something you wouldn't necessarily want to eat whole. The bonus is that pureed fruit retains the fiber that, in turn, slows the absorption of the fruit's sugars.

Make striped juice cubes. Add small amounts of juice to your ice cube tray; once it's frozen, fill the tray with plain water and freeze. The tiny bit of juice lends a tasty hint of flavor -- with minimal calories -- to your glass of water. I used 100% unsweetened cranberry juice here, which can be helpful in preventing bladder infections (a common problem for pregnant women). 


As the cubes melt, the juice flavors the whole glass.
Look who showed up to conduct a taste test.


Freeze something unexpected for a mocktail. If you're craving something savory, try freezing olives (and some of the brine) in your cube tray. 





Once frozen, add to some seltzer. A bit of salt can actually help keep you hydrated - just don't overdo it! And if anyone gives you any lip for drinking a "weird" drink, tell him or her you're pregnant and you're allowed strange cravings. Then promptly bite off that person's head.


Bottoms up!

4 comments:

  1. Wow, i want to go to that daycare! I'd love to hear if they try the cucumber spear, too - it does add this really nice flavor, plus you get to munch on the cukes ;-)

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  2. I love these ideas!  I wanted to let you know that my daughter goes to a daycare where they make mint water.  It's similar to your mint cubes, but they have a huge Mason jar and just put mint leaves in the jar, fill it will water, stir it around and poke some of the leaves and voila!  It's amazing!  I bet they'd love stirring it with a cucumber spear, too!

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  3. Yeah, i love iced tea, too. I've made ice tea with mango puree cubes to cool and sweeten. Herbed cubes would be good for the iced tea...

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  4. Great ideas, love the frozen olives. Someone told me about cherry tomatoes too. I'm a little bit of an iced tea freak. I love the herbal cubes.

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