I’ve been doing the school run for several years. Dealing with my offspring at the end of the school day in this heatwave, however, is an entirely new experience. My kids are stumbling out of the classroom so hot and bothered that I am regularly breaking one of my own healthy-eating rules to cool them down.
There’s no question, Helen and Izzy are struggling with the heat. Little Izzy, my five-year-old daughter, is finding the heatwave the most difficult to deal with.
She flops out of school, red-faced and with a short-fuse. It’s partly what I call the post-school slump, but it’s mostly induced by the heat. While Izzy struggles the most, her big sister Helen isn’t that far behind.
This is where there’s a big difference between the rest of the family and I. While Mrs Adams, Helen and Izzy often wilt when the thermometer goes above 25˚c, I simply cannot get too hot.
My ideal temperature is somewhere between 30˚c and 40˚c. I love the heat and the present blast of sunny weather we’re getting in the UK is doing a huge amount to lift my spirits after that long, long, grey winter. As I say, I’ve been breaking one of my self-imposed healthy eating rules, although I’ve only been doing so to help the kids deal with the hot weather.
I dislike it when other parents give sweets out in the playground, so I don’t allow my kids to eat sweet things within the school grounds. In this heat, however, I’ve been taking iced-lollies to school, one for each of the kids. The moment they’re out of the class room, I thrust one into their hands and make for the school gate as quickly as possible.
I’m not going to tell you it’s a perfect solution. I do look at the labels and try and give them fruit-based items with a low (ish) sugar content. Even though they’re struggling with this heatwave, they want to spend every moment outside being active and so they are definitely working off the sugar.
It isn’t ideal, but it definitely helps. Aside from cooling the kids down and providing some hydration, they struggle to give me verbal abuse when pre-occupied with a lolly. Once they’ve finished their lolly, the grumpiness has generally passed.
I should really be giving the kids homemade lollies made from fruit and coconut water. Having just moved-house, we are still in a state of mild disorganisation so ensuring we have the correct fruits, coconut water and lolly molds is a bit beyond me right at this point in time. For now, I’m relying on shop-bought items, but this will change as we become more organised.
I also think this is a better option than giving in to their constant requests to buy lollies from the ice cream van that’s outside school most days. I did it once, and never again.
My mistake was to expect change having given the kids a £5 note and told them they could have a lolly each. How foolish was I? I should have known that 80ml of watered-down, frozen fruit juice would cost £2.50 per item. Send the kids into the supermarket with £5 and they’d come back with 16 lollies and they’d be change left over!
I am in no rush for this hot spell to end. I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Until it does, however, I shall be liberal with the iced lollies.
In these circumstances, I think it’s important us mums and dads share ideas. How are you cooling the kids down? Do you hose then down in the garden after school? Do you give then frozen drinks or are you also being liberal with the iced lollies? Whatever tricks you employ, Please do leave a comment below.