Drinking sufficient water throughout the day is important for everyone, even more so for kids. Children who drink less than 6 – 8 cups of water a day are more likely to feel fatigued, get nauseous, and even suffer from headaches.
But anyone with kids will know that, more often than not, kids do not like to drink plain water. They prefer a juice box or soda. However, a high intake of sugary drinks can lead to obesity since you’re consuming more calories than the required daily calorie intake.
How much water do children need to drink?
The amount of water a child needs to drink in a day will depend on several factors, including age, weight, gender, and activity. As a general rule, your child should drink around 6 to 8 cups of water a day on top of eating the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables.
How to Encourage Your Kids to Drink Water
If you’re concerned that your child isn’t drinking enough water, here are a few strategies that you can adopt to help encourage them to hydrate:
Make drinking water a habit
Pediatricians recommend introducing water to your kids as soon as they turn 6 months old and begin eating solid foods. Studies have shown that babies who begin drinking water early are less likely to reject it later.
Lead by example
Children learn from watching. Hence, it is important for you to set an example by drinking water in front of your child. You should also offer water in a bottle or cup with every meal. Parents can also turn drinking water into a fun part of mealtime.
Schedule drinking water times
You can reserve specific times during the day where your child should be drinking water. This may include a cup of water after they wake up in the morning, during each meal, after naptime, and before bedtime.
You should make sure they always have a bottle available for them to sip on throughout the day.
Remove all sugary drinks from your home
If your kids have already begun the habit of only drinking from juice boxes and other sugary drinks, it is recommended for you to remove all such drinks from your home. This way your child will have no other option but to drink water. Having sweetened drinks easily accessible will make it unlikely for them to reach for plain water. You can therefore reduce their options by eliminating all sugary drinks from your kitchen and refrigerator so that they will only have water to drink when they feel thirsty.
Feed them lots of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables contain a high percentage of water, making them a good source of water. You can also try to boost your kids’ hydration levels by feeding them water-rich foods like cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, lettuce, watermelon, and strawberries.
Give them frozen fruits
To add a little flavor into plain water, you can add frozen fruits to make the cup of water more enticing. You can either buy fresh fruit and freeze them or buy them frozen from the store. Remember to prepare them in bite sizes so that your child can grab and eat them easily.
Decorate the cup of water
Sometimes kids just do not like to drink water simply because it’s boring. You can make the cup of water more appealing by adding strawberries, blueberries, orange peels, mint, and even strawberry tops.
Use a colorful bottle
Other than adding and decorating the cup with fruits, you can also purchase colorful bottles. Children are more likely to reach for a colorful and attractive bottle compared to a plain old cup. You can even let your child pick their favorite bottle from the store to encourage them to drink water from it throughout the day.
Mix juice with water
If your kids love fruit juices, you can also dilute them with water before serving them to your kid. This step will help to increase water intake without eliminating the sweet taste of fruit juices. You can also freeze juices in an ice tray and add them to plain water.
Use an App
If your child has a smartphone or tablet, you can also download a water-tracking app that will remind them to drink water throughout the day. There are lots of free and paid water-tracking apps available, but the two more kid-friendly apps are:
Carbodroid – This cute little robot will send reminders for your kids to drink water throughout the day. It also has a simple and straightforward interface that your kids can easily understand.
Plant Nanny – The app requires you to choose a seedling and you can help it grow by tracking your water intake. This is a free and cute way to make the process of drinking water more visual and fun for your kids.
Now that we are all filled with creative ideas to get kids to drink water, the next thing on the list is to ensure that the water being consumed is safe and clean. Therefore, investing in a solid and reliable water filtration system at home should be your utmost priority. One of the two top water filtration system in the market are Berkey and Alexapure, check out the review of Berkey vs Alexpure here.