Water is one of the most important fluids for children to have on a daily basis. It is vital for bodily functions, weight control and regulation, immune system function, and growth. Yet many children do not drink enough water because they don’t like the taste or prefer other drinks over water.
1. Keep the Water Cold
Kids sometimes prefer cold drinks over warm ones, so keeping the water in the refrigerator can make it taste better than if it is at room temperature. Adding ice or always keeping a cooled pitcher on hand for your child is a great way to make it taste better. When your child asks for a drink, you will already have a chilled glass of water on hand that they could sip from instead of juice or another sugary drink.
2. Add a Splash of Fruit Juice
Making fruit juice part of your child’s water intake is a good idea as it helps mask the taste while adding certain vitamins and nutrients to your child’s development. Children will enjoy popular flavors: apple, grape, raspberry, and cranberry. Be sure to buy brands with 100% juice and low sugar content. If you are concerned about your child getting too much sugar, check for fruit juices that have no added sugar and made with fruits that are low in sugar to begin with, and remember only adding a small splash can make all the difference.
3. Get Your Kids Involved in Their Water Intake
Encourage your child to help you decide what type of water to drink for better results. This can help them understand their importance in making a change. Buy them a filtered water dispenser so they can dispense their own water and have fun making their own choices.
4. Offer Free Water Throughout the Day
Make it a habit to offer your child water every couple of hours at home and on the go. A good incentive for your child is to get something like a sticker or prize for drinking two glasses per day. This will encourage them to drink more and make it fun since they get something in return.
5. Serve Water at Mealtimes
Have your child sit at their table in the family room and offer them a glass of water to sip from while they eat. This will help them stay focused on their meal, which can be a problem for those who may need more fluids and are struggling with not wanting to drink water.
6. Serve Water During Playtime
Children tend to forget they need water when playing, so serving water during a play session can help remind them that they need it. This is especially helpful if you have children spending time outside, like on playgrounds or at camps, as they may need to be made aware of how thirsty they are during this time of day. This will help prevent dehydration and help with their overall mood.
Water is so important to our lives, but sometimes it is hard to get your kids to drink enough of it, especially when they do not like the taste, or they are picky with beverages. Try one or all of these tips to get your children interested in drinking more water. Remember that the more they drink, the better they will feel, so making this a fun and pleasurable experience will help them stick with it as they get older!