It’s estimated that around 80% of American adults don’t drink enough water, and that high percentage is also reflected with kids. Everyone needs water to survive. Being properly hydrated boosts our immune systems. It improves sleep quality. Proper hydration helps improve concentration and cognition. It even even boosts our moods. It's important to keep our body hydrated. As kids are growing, it's important to help them to stay hydrated, as well. Here are some tips to keep your kids hydrated.
Tips to Keep Your Kids Hydrated
Make Water Easily Available
If you make water the easiest option, children are more likely to choose it. Limit access to things like chocolate milk, juice, or soda. If your refrigerator has a water dispenser, teach your kids how to use it properly. If it doesn't have one, try keeping a water pitcher in the refrigerator. Easy access to water is a great way to get your kids started on managing their own hydration as well, since they’ll be able to easily serve themselves when you’re not available. Be sure drink cups are easy to reach, too. Make use of water bottles so that you’ll have hydration available for all your kids on the go.
Don’t Neglect Other Forms of Hydration
While water is the best way of hydrating your kids, it isn’t the only way. Make up the difference by incorporating other forms of hydration. Serving soup is one way you can do this. Incorporating more raw fruits and veggies into your kids’ diets is another way. Not only are raw fruits and vegetables packed with nutrients and antioxidants that your kids need to be healthy, they are also full of water that can help hydrate your kids. I have one kid that will drink pickle juice from the jar, and that's okay because it's full of nutrients.
Make Drinking Water Fun
For younger kids who want to exercise their independence, there are quite a few ways to make drinking water fun. Letting younger kids choose their own sippy cups or “big kid” cups from the store. Establish the caveat that these are special cups that are only to be used with water. You can also find fun twisty straws and other fun containers that will encourage your kids to want to drink water on their own. Each of our kids has a tumbler with lid that camps out on the drink tray on our table during the day, and they can take them to their rooms at night.
Pay Attention to Flavor
There are two ways that the flavor of your water may be discouraging your kids from staying hydrated. Hard tap water may have a taste kids don't care for. I'll be the first to admit that I despised drinking water for the longest time, because I didn't like the way water tasted. Hard water is full of minerals, but those minerals can be tasted. While hard water is generally safe to consume, it can have an unpleasant taste that will discourage your kids from staying hydrated. There are a few ways you can combat this. Some people turn to bottled water, but a more practical and economical situation is to turn to water filters such as EcoPureHome. Water filters will filter your water and get rid of that hard water taste.
The other way that flavor may turn your kids away from water is because they don’t like it due to its lack of flavor. There are many ways to remedy this as well. The healthiest way is to learn how to infuse water with fresh fruits, veggies, and herbs. Citrus slices, berries, cucumbers, and even fresh thyme and mint will give your kids the flavor they want without the added sugar of water flavor packets. I'm personally a fan of cinnamon stick water, and my kids will drink it, too.
Lead By Example
Your kids will take their cues in everyday life from you. If you and your partner are always reaching for soda or coffee before water, your kids won’t even see water as an option. Make the switch away from other drinks and over to water, and your kids will drink more water. In addition, you’ll enjoy the benefits of being better hydrated, including more energy, better sleep, and improved immune performance.