Are your kids drinking enough water?
By Heather, Jayger’s Mom
The good news is that I know I’m in the right business. The bad news is that a recent study has found that over 50% of American kids are not drinking enough water and are considered to be dehydrated.
How is it possible that in this day and age in the United States— with virtually every kind of water filtration device available, as well as an infinite multitude of water containers, bottles, pouches and dispensers— more than half of our kids aren’t getting enough fluids?
While humans can survive up to six weeks without food, we couldn’t last even one week without water. That’s how vital it is to our body’s functioning. Even mild dehydration has been found to affect a child’s mood and cognitive functioning. Long-term and severe dehydration can lead to a host of ailments including headaches, dizziness, increased heart rate, overall irritability and difficulties concentrating. All the while the solution is as easy as…well, drinking more water.
Many factors affect how much water one should drink, including weight, climate, level of physical activity and state of health and wellness. While one should always be in tune to his/her own needs, here are the average daily beverage and drinking water requirements for children according to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies:
Are your kids drinking enough water?
Yes, I know. It’s easier said than done to get an antsy, distracted, active, on-the-go child or teenager to drink water (of all things). I get it. But as parents who care about the well being of our children, we must strategize, plan ahead and have a few tricks up our sleeves at all times.
With that said, here are some ideas for keeping your child hydrated and less moody.
1. Make water omnipresent. Keep pitchers and bottles on the kitchen table, in the living room, in the car— within an arm’s reach.
2. Make water mobile. Have your children pick out a favorite “water bottle” that they can bring anywhere and hook to their school backpack. There are so many fun choices, sizes and styles on the market these days— including those you can personalize with your own photos. They also have loops and hooks on the caps for easy transport.
3. Add a twist. Let’s face it — water is generally boring to kids, especially when it’s competing with sugary concoctions, fruit juices and chocolate milk. But see what happens if you add slices of their favorite fruits or berries to the water. You’d be surprised at how much more alluring it becomes.
4. Make it fun. This is where I have to plug our own Tickle Water! It’s water made fun. It’s water with a bit of carbonation and 100% natural flavors that tickle the tongue. It’s water that looks super cool. It’s water in a rad clear can that every kid loves. And well, it’s been known to make kids (and adults) giggle and smile. My son Jayger still loves it, still asks for it, and it still makes him giggle. Best of all, I’m confident that he’s staying hydrated.
5. Unabashed programming. When I was a kid, every time my mom would serve broccoli or vegetable stew she would say “Oh, that is sooooo good for you.” And now twenty some years later, her words ring in my ears, prompting me to make healthy choices. Positive reinforcement goes a long way. So when my son is drinking water or Tickle Water, I flood him with the same kinds of affirmations… “That is so good for you!”
Do you have strategies for keeping your kids eating and drinking healthy? I’d love to hear them.
Post them in the comment section below or you can email them to me at [email protected]
*According to a 2015 Study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
#healthykids #drinkyourbubbles #stayhydrated #waterforhealth #waterforlife #8glassesaday