Fruit2O Essentials -- a summer essential

It's hot, hot, hot! And it's not the humid heat that I'm used to from growing up in the Philippines. No, Cali's heat is the dry, desert kind that sears your skin and hurts your head. Alfie is constantly nagging reminding me to keep the kids well hydrated in this weather. I agree 100 percent, and I want to do the right thing -- but it's always a challenge for me to get enough water into them (and myself). I could serve them juice or soda or milk, but I'm sure their waistlines and their teeth would suffer.

So we resort to flavored water, which has no sugar or calories but tastes great, so it's easy to keep chugging down bottle after bottle. In fact, we've stopped buying bottled spring water to cut down on our plastic consumption, but flavored water is still a staple in our household, our healthy treat that gets the whole family drinking more water. So when I was offered samples of the new Fruit2O Essentials to review, I gratefully said yes.

A little about Fruit2O: Fruit2O was the first fruit-flavored water to hit the market and has led the way in the impressive growth of the flavored water category. Their original Fruit2O drinks come in 8 fruit flavors, all with zero calories, carbs and sugar. Their new product, Fruit2O Essentials, takes it one step further by providing the vitamins, minerals, and fiber equal to two servings of fruit. This zero-calorie fortified water comes in six flavors, each containing the nutrients specific to the two fruits found on the label.

We received all 6 flavors to try -- Strawberry Kiwi, Cranberry Raspberry, Citrus, Peach Mango, Blueberry Pomegranate and Cherry Acai. I had a hard time stopping the kids from guzzling it all down, but I managed to keep them away long enough to chill all 6 bottles and pour them into cups for our own little tasting Par2O.

I've never been a fan of the strawberry-kiwi flavor combo, but I loved all the others, especially the Peach Mango and the Cherry Acai, which really tastes like you've dunked cherries in a pitcher of water and left it in the fridge for a couple of hours. They have a nice, subtle flavor that's not too sweet or acidic. I like the fact that Fruit2O is made with natural fruit essence, so you get all the natural flavor of the fruit without the fruit particles or juice -- or the calories. And since it's fortified with the fruit's nutrients, it's like you're eating a piece of fruit and drinking some water! What a healthy, yummy way for the whole family to stay hydrated this summer!

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