Hydration is key. But getting your offspring to drink enough water can be a real challenge. They might not like the taste of it, prefer soft drinks, or are just not good drinkers. Here are 9 tips & tricks you can apply to encourage your kids to drink more water throughout the day:
- Be a Good Example
Kids learn new things by watching their parents and tend to mimic their behaviors. This is why you have to set a good example and drink enough water throughout the day yourself. Trade coffee, soft drinks and sugared fruit juices for water – 8 to 10 glasses a day is considered the optimum.
This will not only encourage your kids to drink more, it’ll also benefit your health and well being. Can you think of a better way to kill 2 birds with one stone?
- Flavor Up!
I get it – plain water can taste a little flat. So it’s not really a surprise that many kids favor sweetened drinks and juices. One possible solution to this problem is to add healthy flavors to your water (yes, they do exist!).
For starters, you can try out one of the many fruit-infused water recipes. Fruit-infused water is so easy and fun to make. You can even involve your kids in the process and they’ll be more likely to appreciate the new tastes. Strawberry, Lemon, and Basil or Orange and Blueberry are just two of the many great recipes which you can find in Buzzfeed’s collection right here.
Another option is to buy flavoring mixes. But make sure to check the ingredients list and stay away from sugar, artificial sweeteners and other unnatural additives.
- Water Always at the Ready
This is probably one of the most important tips: Always have refreshing drinking water at the ready. If you make this your mantra, you’ll soon discover that your kids will drink more of it.
Whenever you go out make sure that you bring a chilled glass bottle full of cool H2O with you. What’s more, have your son’s or daughter’s favorite cup filled in your refrigerator at home.
And lastly, actively encourage your kids to drink by having a couple of sips every once in a while. You’ll notice that most of the time they say they’re not thirsty. But once they start drinking, they’ll realize that they are thirsty after all and drink way more than you thought.
You reward your kids when they behave well, clean their rooms and get good grades in school. Why not offer rewards as an incentive to encourage them to drink more water?
A star on a chart can already be fun and exciting enough to reach the daily water goals. Imagine what an extra half hour before bed time can do!
- Lots of Fruits & Veggies
According to WebMD, “Approximately 80% of our water intake comes from drinking water and other beverages, and the other 20% comes from food.” This is what makes eating plenty of fruits and vegetables so important – they are full of water.
Lettuce, for example, is 95 percent water. Watermelon 92 percent and broccoli 91. Even a carrot is 87 percent water (who would have guessed that).
Of course, an extra benefit of fruits and veggies are all those healthy vitamins, minerals, etc. that they contain.
- Filter, Filter, Filter
If the tap water in your home has off flavors or odors, consider using a filtration system. With the right system in place, you’ll get the cleanest and tastiest water possible.
There are many solutions to choose from:
- Water filter pitchers are the most popular and affordable option and best suited for light contamination issues.
- Activated charcoal filters are best at trapping chlorine and other chemicals that make your water taste like a swimming pool.
- Reverse osmosis filters are your best chance to remove a whole plethora of toxic substances from your water, according to the guys at BOS.
- Stay Cool
Especially in hot summer days, cool water tastes so much better than a lukewarm puddle. So do your little ones and yourself a favor and keep the water in your home nicely cold.
A pitcher or freezer-safe water bottle might be a good investment to have refreshing drinking water all day long.
A valuable alternative is a refrigerator that features a built-in water cooler and dispenser or ice maker.
- Limit other Options
Choosing water is so much easier, if there are not dozens of other seducing options to go for. If all you have in your home at a time is water, milk and maybe one type of juice, you can expect much better results than you will get if water has to compete against Coke, Fanta and Dr. Pepper.
If ditching soft drinks is too much to ask for, try to find a compromise that’s acceptable for everyone, such as allowing 1 drink per week.
Or you can reach a different agreement and only allow your kids the next beverage once they’ve finished their water glass. This way they can decide for themselves when and how much to drink.
- Whatever You Do, Make It Fun!
Kids want to have fun. Who can blame them for that? So if your kids love to drink icy water through a straw, because they like the feeling of ice-cold in their mouth, let them. If your kids prefer flavor-infused water instead of plain, give it to them. If your kids respond to making drinking water a game, play with them and let them rise to the challenge.
The point is, good hydration is key in order for us to be healthy and feel good. And it is all the more important for kids. You should do everything you can to encourage them to drink enough water.