Encouraging your children to drink more water
It is important to drink plenty of water during the day. The average adult human body is 60% water, and the average child can be as high as 70%. Parents can have their work cut out for them, when making sure there children drink enough water. We are surrounded by numerous drinks, all colourfully branded and sold directly to kids.
Fizzy soft drinks are incredibly high in sugar and cause weight gain, not to mention damage to the teeth in large quantities. Meanwhile, there are numerous ‘juice’ drinks that claim to be made up of natural ingredients but in reality are as sugary as a soft drink – a wolf in sheep’s clothing indeed. Water is the natural beverage that overcomes all shortcomings posed by these kinds of drinks, but it can be difficult in getting your child do go for water when there is such variety.
There are many ways you can get you child to drink water. This will be largely dependent on age, if they are old enough to understand, it maybe possible to lay out simply why water is a better drinking refreshment.
Maintains and regulates central body systems.
We are composed of water for the most part, so it makes sense that we should keep our body supplies topped off sufficiently. Each core system of the body requires water as a form of fuel or to aid chemical reactions. Water maintains the muscles and helps keep you strong and fighting fit. Water is stored in the skin keeping it healthy and soft, it regulates the temperature of your body and flushes out all the impurities. For every cup of water your sip, your body will put that water to good use.
Free of calories.
Unlike most other drinks on the market, water does not contain any calories. With obesity on the rise across the Western world, drinking water instead of a soft drink or juice drink will keep your body hydrated without piling on the fat, keeping you healthier.
Healthy for teeth.
It is worth noting, that we humans only get two sets of teeth and that’s it! Most soft drinks contain acidic chemicals that can cause dramatic long term damage to teeth in the form of discolouration and inevitably rot. Which means lots of scary trips to the dentist. Water doesn’t contain any of this additives, and so is safe on your teeth,
Water is cheap.
Water is a free solution to quench your thirst. Think how much pocket money your children could save if they go for water instead of a soft drink!
These are the golden rules you should be making your child aware of from a young age. Of course it might not be as simple to enforce, especially with younger kids or even more free spirited teenagers. In such a case we present the following rules.
Make water always available.
As soon as your kids come down for breakfast or come in from school, the first thing you should give them is a glass of water. Sometimes the key to getting your kids to drink more water is simply to make it more available. If you early morning or afternoon interactions contain the ritual of a glass of water, your children are more likely to associate that with you as a parent, they will feel safe and secure and it may become a daily part of their routine.
When they go to bed, always ensure that they have a glass of water by their bedside, so if they ever wake up and need refreshment it is there. Whilst sleeping, the body will make good use of this substance.
Get your child a branded water bottle.
To kids, water can seem ordinary and therefore boring, you can counter this by providing them with their own drinking bottle that is branded in line with their favourite TV show or toy. This gives them an enhanced feeling of ownership to their bottle and their more like to drink from it and feel empowered by the practice.
Flavour water with natural fruit.
To enhance the taste of water, you can add natural fruit such as an orange or lemon slice to the water. If it is a hot day, be sure to add ice, because there is nothing like a cold drink of water on a hot summer’s day.
Give child independence by giving them the option to pour a glass of water themselves.
Kids like to feel like adults, from time to time. They like the sense of satisfaction that comes from doing things themselves. Providing your child is big enough to reach the taps, you can teach them to pour their own glass of water. When they can do it themselves, they are more likely to do it and help themselves whenever they feel thirsty. Masters of their own destiny!
For sports, provide your children with iced water.
During sports, kids will be in need of water the most. Therefore it is best to equip them with a bottle of iced water, or even a frozen water bottle. Over the course of the day it will defrost, providing your child with a cold source of refreshment.
These are just a couple of tips. Please! by all means respond with your own tips in the comments, or let us know through email.
As a general rule, children between the age of 5-8 should be drinking 5 glasses of water a day or a full litre. 9-12 year olds should be drinking 7 glasses measuring in 1.5 litres. For kids over the age of 13 between 8-10 glasses of water should be consumed on a daily basis, measuring 2 litres. And by the way parents! Mums should be drinking a total of 2.5 litres, and men 3 litres, thats over 10 cups a day respectively!
Finally, if children are seeing their parents drinking water regularly, they are more likely to do so the same. So happy drinking!