Days at the Pool

Summer for my family is great.  We wake up, eat breakfast and head out to the pool.  We enjoy our day swimming, meeting up with friends and picnicking.  Taking the family swimming for the day seems like a fun and healthy choice; time outdoors and great exercise. But in my kids’ minds, “the pool”, so far, seems to be synonymous with popsicles and sports drinks.  Each day we arrive to swim and play, and each day my 5 year old cries for a sports drink (like his friends are all drinking).  Being a baseball mom, I have already fought a long battle against sports drinks for children.  

The most popular sports drink on the market has between 14g-23g of sugar, depending on the specific type.  When kids hear “sports drink”, they confuse it with something healthy.  Sports are healthy; so a sports drink must be healthy.    This is what my 5 year old believes, and I am sure all of his friends think this too.  What they do not realize, is that one sports drink has more than double the sugar allowance for their day.   

All it took was one trip to the store. Each boy got to pick their own water bottle. Two Star Wars water bottles later, and my kids look forward to their water drink at the pool.  They forgot their pleas for sugar that quickly.  Now that we are into July, the requests for sports drinks are gone.  We go to the pool to swim, and picnic with foods and drinks that fuel my kids’ bodies for the day.  

I discuss health with my boys daily.  As their mother, it is my responsibility to teach them about the foods and drinks their bodies need to make it through the day.  We frequently discuss making healthy choices and striking a balance.   You can’t possibly have a summer without popsicles.  But, I stress to them moderation and fueling your body with the right foods. 

- Courtney, a Howard County mom

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