We all know we need to drink more water - but sometimes we forget that drinking enough water is even more important for our kids.
Your child's body needs water to stay healthy, especially when they're active. When your child gets enough water, it cools down their body, aids in digestion, keeps their brain and muscles working at peak performance, and even lubricates their joints.
So how can you convince your kids that good ol' H2O is better than sugar-laden sodas and sports drinks? It might be tough, but these tips may help.
How much water does my child need to drink?
How much water your child needs depends on your child's age, height, weight, and activity level. Children over one year of age should drink about one ounce of water per pound of body weight each day. If you aim for at least 6-8 cups of water a day, that should be good for most children. Active kids will likely need an additional cup of water for each hour of activity, and even more as the temperature increases due to loss from sweating.
How to make it easier to drink water
Encouraging your child to drink more water doesn't have to be difficult. The best way to help your kids drink more water is to keep it accessible and fun! These tips may help:
- Be an example. One of the most effective teaching tools you have is to be a good example. Fill up your water bottle and let your kids see you drinking from it throughout the day.
- Add ice. This encourages children to drink more. Also try adding berries, citrus fruits, or even slices of cucumber to the water for a little flavor without a lot of sugar.
- Let your child pick out a special drinking cup or water bottle to use at home and on-the-go.
- Make water the beverage of choice, on-the-go or even if you're eating out.
- Don't buy sugar-sweetened beverages or sports drinks. Your kids can't drink them if you don't buy them.
- Teach young kids how to fill up their own cup or water bottle. Independence is a powerful tool!
- Let kids use fun straws to encourage them to drink more water.
- Buy small water bottles that are easier for kids to drink out of.
- Set up a reward system for the whole family. Encourage them to drink a certain amount of water daily. Reward everyone with a fun activity when you all reach the goal.
Getting your kids to drink more water doesn';t have to be difficult. Remember to keep it accessible and fun, then you'll have success in increasing the amount of water your kids drink.