7 ways to get children to drink more water
The top two questions I get asked by parents are; how do I get my children to drink more water and how much water should they drink?
Let’s be honest, most kids don’t care that they lose water every single day through weeing, pooing, perspiring & breathing and in order to think straight and have great health, they need to replace it. But you care. You probably already know (and agree with) how important water is to a child’s physical and mental health. Hundreds of books spell out how crucial it is, every other magazine article concurs – showing you the latest research into proper hydration in relation to concentration, allergies, ADHD and everything else.
What they don’t often tell you is HOW to make this happen when you’re staring down the barrel of determination blazing out of a young persons eyes who wants juice, soda or some strange looking blue conconction! We’ve all been there.
Here are my 7 ways to get your children to drink more water
Tried and tested, here are my top tips to encourage children to drink more water.
HEALTHY WATER HABITS:
- BRIBERY…I always think a bit of positive bribery is the best way with children. It’s absolutely no good being high-handed and authoritarian and telling them to drink WATER when they say they want a fizzy drink instead. Reward them afterwards with extra play or reading time (but not with food or drinks!)
- BE A ROLE MODEL…drink a glass together every hour. Let them see you enjoying drinking WATER. Make it into a game. Have some fun together.
- SPECIAL GLASS & SILLY STRAWS…let them choose their own glass or drinking beaker that is reserved purely for WATER. Let them suck through outrageous (eco-friendly) straws.
- PRAISE THEM… for drinking it rather than criticising them for not drinking it. Shower them with extra hugs and cheers. Create a crazy dance ritual for after each glass of WATER.
- INVOLVE THEIR TOYS…line up their teddy bears, superheroes, dollies etc. and ensure they are all drinking enough too!
- EDUCATION…teach them that they are made of watery sacks of cells, draw them. As they get older, explain their cells need WATER to be happy, therefore they need WATER to be happy too.
- TALK TO THEIR TEACHERS & CHILDMINDERS…get them on board. Make sure your children always have WATER with them and are encouraged to drink it.
Establishing Their Natural Thirst
With gentle encouragement and perseverance alongside setting the example yourself, your children’s bodies will soon respond creating a natural thirst. They will start feeling thirstier and it will get easier because they will want to continue drinking WATER. Success!
Benefits Of Your Children Drinking More Water
Research suggests adequately hydrated children may perform better in school. Not only that, hydration is the first and most important step towards a child that is healthy, energetic, clear headed and happy with glowing skin, bright eyes and a radiant smile.
Dehydration, even if only mild, can cause tiredness, headaches, lack of concentration, reduced mental performance and dry skin. Can you imagine how much better life would be if all youngsters grew up drinking adequate amounts of WATER, having their natural thirst for WATER activated from a very early age. Water is synonymous with great health as it:
- carries nutrients to cells
- helps to remove waste products from our major organs
- helps to control our body temperature
In my opinion, good hydration would go a long way to preventing the plague of adult diseases we are now seeing in our young children: for example, constipation, anxiety, poor concentration, mental health issues, allergies, digestive disorders, low mood and even insomnia.
How much water children should drink
How much water children should drink can be confusing. It is advised that kids aged 4-13 aim to drink approximately 6-8 glasses of fluid a day in addition to the water included in the food in their diet. Younger kids need relatively small drinks (e.g. 150 ml serving). The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has developed a set of fluid requirements for children of different ages.
‘People can survive for up to 50 days without food but only a few days without drinking water’.
Hydration is particularly important for children as they have higher water requirements in relation to their body weight than adults.
It simply needs us all to take responsibility for encouraging and helping the children of the world to drink adequate amounts of plain, still, clean WATER and the best way to motivate them to cultivate this wonderful habit is to show by our own example. It needs to become the norm. It needs to be trendy. It needs to be cool.
To good health through proper hydration,
The Nutritional Healing Foundation founded by Lesley Pierce and Alison Holden.
Disclaimer: this article is based on the opinion of Nutritional Therapists, Alison Holden or Lesley Pierce (unless otherwise noted). The information is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified therapist, your health care professional or your own intuition. It is not intended as medical advice, rather a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Alison Holden/Lesley Pierce and their community. Their goal is to inform you so you can make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your healthcare professional before using products based on this content.