We all know how important it is to stay hydrated by drinking water, but sometimes it’s hard to get our kids to see eye-to-eye. And now that we’re in the summer months, there are even more reasons to value clean drinking water. If you’re worried about keeping your kids happily hydrated, we’ve got a few tricks. It’s easy to be healthy when you make drinking water enjoyable!
Is Your Child Getting Enough Water?
Tracking your child’s hydration isn’t rocket science, but it can get a little tricky. A lot of charts tell you to measure in ounces, but sometimes it’s easier to think in terms of “cups.” Instead of dividing your child’s weight by 2 or 3 to count how many ounces they should be drinking, just stick to a simple formula. For example: The fact that even toddlers need around 4 cups of fluid every day.
The main thing to do is to use common sense and watch for some of the most common signs of dehydration. If these symptoms persist, then you’ll need to find new ways to encourage drinking water at home and on-the-go:
- Chapped Lips
- Dry Mouth or Tongue
- Arms and Legs Feel Cool
- Breathing and Heart Rate are Slightly Faster
- Less Energy than Usual, or Feeling Cranky
The good news: Dehydration is totally preventable. In fact, some studies show that drinking water can help counteract feelings of anxiety, plus tension and fatigue. (So, while you encourage your kiddos to drink more water, make sure you’re getting enough water, too!)
Encouraging Kids to Drink More Water
It might only take one of these ideas to get your child to start drinking water more often. But if it takes a few different methods—so be it! Find the motivators that are right for your family, and start enjoying your water more every day.
1. Filter Your Drinking Water
Truth be told, regular tap water doesn’t live up to most people’s standards of clean water. By installing a new filtration system, you can rest assured that your drinking water is free of chlorine and other contaminants. You and your kids are sure to notice that your water tastes a whole lot better when those “nasties” are gone!
2. Use a Fun Reusable Water Bottle
If a plain sippy cup or glass isn’t catching your little one’s attention, consider treating them to their very own reusable water bottle. For a lot of children, it’s more intriguing to sip on “Princess Water” or “Superhero Water.” You can help make their water fun by sticking to one of their favorite characters or playtime themes.
3. Chill it with Different Ice Cubes
For others, a cooler temperature is what makes water more appealing. That’s where ice cubes can help. Playing around with cute ice cube trays can be a neat way to mix up your hydration routine. There are lots of different silicon tray shapes to choose from nowadays. Or, you can try adding something new to your regular trays. Freezing blueberries into your ice cubes is a great place to start.
4. Keep Water on the Table
Another way to encourage your kids to drink more water is to make it the primary beverage for meal time. By limiting the choices, you’ll be able to replace sugary drinks with healthier options. This simple fix might be enough to get their hydration levels where you want them!
5. Teach Children Independence
Some kiddos might prefer filling their own cup. By introducing a little more independence, you might make drinking water a sort of confidence boost. Grab a step-stool for the kitchen sink and let kids use the filtered water faucet all on their own. (Assuming they’re at the right age to be this responsible!)
6. Infuse Your Drinking Water
When filtered water doesn’t quench their thirst, you can always toss some fruits and veggies into your water glass. Infusing your drinking water with berries or citrus is a great way to make each glass a little more unique. Consider giving your kids the option to pick their own infusion concoctions at the grocery store. They’ll be more likely to enjoy this upgrade when they get a say in the matter.
7. Snack on Water-Rich Foods
In addition to putting fruits and veggies to your water, why not add a few more to your snack-time? Water-rich foods are another great (and sneaky) way to stay hydrated. Odds are, some of your kids’ favorite healthy snacks are already helping out. Watermelon, cantaloupe, baby carrots, and cucumbers all make the list for yummy water-rich foods.
8. Take Drinking Water To-Go
Making water the drink-of-choice at home is one thing, but don’t forget about your hydration when you’re on-the-go. Adding a few reusable water bottles to your kitchen supplies will do wonders for helping your family drink more water. Find bottles that are easy to clean and that match everyone’s personality. It’s more fun to sip on water when you’ve got it styled to your life. Keep these tips in mind, and you should be all set.