“9 clever ways to encourage your child to drink water” is a collaborative post.
Researchers at Harvard researchers found that 50% of all children and adolescents are not getting enough hydration. This can have serious implications for their physical help and cognitive development.
These are the daily quantities that doctors typically advise children to drink:
- toddlers should drink 2 to 4 cups;
- kids between 4 and 8 years old should drink 5 cups;
- kids between 9 and 13 years old should drink 7 to 8 cups:
- those older than 14 should drink 8 to 11 cups of water a day.
The benefits of a regular water intake for children range from maintaining a healthy weight to reducing chronic diseases to improving memory and attention.
However, encouraging your kids to drink water regularly is no easy task. That’s why we will give you some tips to motivate your children and ensure they stay hydrated throughout the day.
1 Make drinking water fun
Kids tend to perceive drinking water as a boring and unexciting activity, unlike eating ice cream or drinking soda. Turning it into a fun activity can be very helpful in increasing their daily water intake.
Using fun cups is one way to make water more exciting for your kids. For example, you can buy them a cup with their favourite cartoon character or colour. Kids also tend to see drinking water from strolls as more fun than drinking them directly from a glass. Finally, try to freeze fruit instead of ice cubes or make ice lollies with diluted squash.
#2 Make water available around the house
Most families only keep water in specific spots, like the fridge or the kitchen table. This means that when your kids feel thirsty, they must reach that specific spot if they want water.
Placing water bottles and glasses around the house will make it more accessible to them whenever they want to take a sip.
You can also consider installing water coolers in different rooms if you have the budget.
#3 Bring water with you all the time
Water should be readily available even when your kids are not at home. Make sure to keep a bottle of water in your bag. Ideally, you should have one in your car and in your kids’ backpacks too. This will increase the number of times your kids drink water during the day.
#4 Limit sugary drinks
Reducing the number of sugary drinks your children have during the day can be beneficial for various reasons.
First of all, these drinks contain empty calories and lack essential nutrients, meaning they’re not ideal in general.
Second, by reducing sodas and other sugary drinks, your kids will naturally drink more water as it will be the only option available. In contrast with sugary drinks, water is calorie-free, and it’s the most effective way for your kids to achieve optimal hydration.
#5 Infuse water with flavours your children like
Another way in which you can help your kids stay hydrated is by offering them infused water.
Adding flavours your children love to the water can greatly increase the probability they will drink it regularly. Fruit-infused water, in particular, is a great choice due to its high vitamin and mineral content.
One way to get infused water is by preparing it yourself. It’s a very simple process, and you can find plenty of helpful recipes online.
Alternatively, you can buy packaged, sustainably sourced infused water and choose the flavour your kids enjoy the most.
#6 Be a role model and set an example
Our kids look up to us and unconsciously absorb our behaviours and habits. That’s why it’s essential to set a good example and stay hydrated yourself too!
Make sure your kids see you drinking water regularly during the day and not just when having lunch or dinner. You can also drink infused water or drink it from funny cups if you think this will increase the chance your kids will imitate your behaviour.
#7 Use a rewards system
Rewarding your kids when they drink water is another effective way to help them stay hydrated.
For example, you can offer them a sticker or another small prize any time they reach a daily milestone, like drinking four full glasses of water.
When children associate a certain behaviour with a reward, they are more likely to engage in that behaviour.
#8 Ask their school teacher to encourage them to drink water
Kids spend a significant part of their day at school. During this period, teachers are primarily responsible for your children’s well-being.
Make sure your kids’ teachers understand the importance of encouraging students to drink water regularly. Talk with your children’s teachers or with the school’s supervisor and ask them what tactics they use to make sure kids stay hydrated.
#9 Explain the benefits of drinking water to your kids
Children are way more clever than we typically think. Having a discussion with them on the health benefits of drinking water may motivate them to drink it more regularly.
If your children are still very little, you can have them watch cartoons on the importance of drinking water to kickstart the conversation.