It’s so important for children to stay hydrated so that they can make the most out of every single day that they’re at home for the holidays. Our lives are so busy these days, we get so little real quality time together, so we need to make sure that every moment is precious. The weather is starting to get warmer, which makes it even more necessary to ensure these guys are getting enough water.
Children and older people are especially at risk of getting dehydrated because their bodies are less effective at perspiring and produce more heat during physical activity. Children are also usually more physically active than adults, so all this results in greater loss of bodily water.
When kids are engrossed in an activity, it’s so easy for them to just forget to drink. That coupled with the fact that many children are reluctant to drink water, favouring sweet cordials or fruit juices instead, means that it’s really not easy to ensure that they’re drinking enough. So, we’ve put together some tips to help you to encourage them to drink more water independently.
Jazz it up!
Here are a few things that you can do to make water more inviting for your little ones.
• Fruit juices aren’t as good for our children as water, because they contain high levels of natural sugars. If your child prefers fruit juice, you can try gradually diluting them with water. Just a little at first, so that they don’t notice and a tad more each day so that they get used to the reduced flavour.
• You can sneak their water intake up with fruit, soups and stews. Many fruits are made up of a lot of water, so if you offer a fruit salad for desert or as a snack this will increase their water intake. Soups and stews can have similar benefits.
• Protein needs more liquid to metabolise so reducing meat intake can help with hydration levels.
• Offer a variety of drinks, but omit caffeinated beverages as large quantities can have a diuretic effect, which causes an increase in urination and leads to decreased levels of water in the body.
• Be a good role model. Children learn by what they see and by repetition. Your child is watching every single thing you do. They want to be like you. So, make sure you are meeting your daily intake requirements and they’ll likely copy your behaviour.
• Have a routine. If your child regularly forgets to drink water, put a routine in place to ensure a glass of water is consumed first thing in the morning and last thing at night. You could also make sure they have a glass of water with each meal and before and after exercise. With a routine like that in place, they’d be drinking plenty of water with minimal effort.
Eat foods with high water content
Healthy fruits and vegetables that are high in water content and add fluid to your diet include:
• Melons such as watermelon, honeydew or cantaloupe
Do your kids complain that water is too plain?
You could try adding some sugar-free flavour drops, or some fresh fruit or cucumber slices to give it a hint of flavour. Blueberry & mint works well, as does cucumber & mint, strawberry with lime, watermelon and basil. Kids love these flavour combinations in our experience.
There are some good reusable infusion bottles on the market where the fruit can be added to a chamber inside the flask for a natural flavour. This gives you good old-fashioned water without any of the nasty additives or sugars that you find in cordials. Or instead, you could just chop fresh fruit, vegetables or herbs and soak them in a jug of water. Water takes on flavour after just one hour so make up and refill reusable bottles for days out.
Give us a call if you’d like to talk about how one of our Soprano counter-top water dispensers could improve the water intake in your household.