With a huge assortment of fruit juices, fizzy drinks and more tasty beverages for children available from your local grocery store today, getting little ones to drink more water can be difficult. But, staying hydrated is especially important for children; even more so if they are regularly active since our bodies quickly lose water through sweating, digestion, and even breathing.
Thankfully, there are many things that parents can do to make drinking enough water fun and easy for children. We’ve put together some top tips to help you encourage your child to stay hydrated, energized and healthy.
Tip #1. Water Filtration
If you tend to drink water from the faucet, your child might be turning their nose up at the taste. Using a good water filter will purify your home’s water supply, making it perfect for drinking without the metallic taste that unfiltered water tends to have.
Having a water filter at home will encourage your whole family to drink more water. See www.waterfilteranswers.com for more information.
Tip #2. Fruit Infusion
If your child prefers the fruity taste of juice, you can get a special fruit infusion water bottle to add some flavor to their drink. These bottles can be obtained quite cheaply online or from a homeware store, and have a small compartment inside where you can place any fruit of your choice.
Alternatively, you can leave a jug of water with fruit pieces in it in your refrigerator overnight to infuse. Or, instead of ice cubes, freeze berries or fruit pieces in an ice cube tray then add these to the water to keep it extra cold. If your child is a fan of soda, opting for sparkling water infused with fruit is a far healthier alternative. And, it’s much more appealing to little ones.
Tip #3. Mini Water Bottles
If your child finds it difficult to drink a lot of water in one go, then it’s a good idea to invest in small water bottles that are easy for a child to hold and use.
Tiny water bottles of 4 or 8 ounces can be purchased in multi-packs from most good grocery stores; some will even be specifically aimed at kids, with fun cartoons on the packaging to encourage them to drink more.
Tip #4. Set a Good Example
When a child sees mom or dad doing something, chances are they will want to do it too. By demonstrating healthy habits to your child, they are more likely to follow in your footsteps.
So, make sure that you are also drinking enough water in the day. Ideally, you should be aiming to drink around eight to ten glasses per day. Not only will this set a good example to your little one, you’ll also improve your own health and energy.
Tip #5. Use a Reward System
Providing incentives for your child can make drinking more water a fun and exciting experience for them. For example, you could start a chart, where your child is given a star each time they drink the recommended amount of water in a day.
Simple rewards, such as allowing your child to have an extra half an hour before bed on the weekends or taking them for a trip to the park can be effective.
Tip #6. Carry Water
When you are out and about with your child, carry a bottle of water with you in your bag. When they are thirsty, this will mean that you’re less tempted to give in and buy them juice or a fizzy drink.
Keep water bottles in places that your child can access easily when they aren’t at home. For example, make sure to always have one ready in your car, and have one ready for your child’s school bag every morning.
Tip #7. Healthy Eating
Although drinking pure water is the best way for your child to stay hydrated, they can also get some water from the foods that they eat.
Ensuring that your child gets their recommended five portions of fruit or vegetables per day will help to increase their water intake, since these foods have a higher water content than others.
Tip #8. Choose Water When Eating Out
If you eat out as a family regularly, getting into the habit of ordering water will encourage your child to also do the same.
In addition, drinking water with your meal at a restaurant is usually far cheaper, so you can save money on family entertainment and activities.
Tip #9. Freeze Water
Cold water is always nicer to drink than water at room temperature. So, keeping the water in your home ice-cold may encourage your child to choose water over other beverages when they are thirsty.
It’s a good idea to invest in some freezer-safe water bottles that you can leave in your freezer for cold, refreshing water available all day long. Alternatively, you might want to consider investing in a refrigerator with a dispenser that keeps water nice and cold.
Tip #10. Drinking Accessories
Today, you can purchase a huge range of accessories that make drinking water more fun for kids. For example, you might want to get some curly straws, decorative cups, or ice cube trays in the shape of their favorite cartoon character.
Let your child pick out a special cup that they are only allowed to use when they are drinking water. Then, make sure that it’s readily available for them whenever they are thirsty.
Tip #11. Allow Some Treats
Of course, drinking juice or soda in moderation is fine, if your child makes up for it by drinking plenty of water in between.
You might want to consider using a cup of juice or soda as a reward for your child drinking enough water. For example, if your child drinks water during the week, you can treat them to some of their favorite fruit juice at the weekend.
How do you encourage your child to drink more water? We’d love to hear from you; share your top tips in the comments.