Summer is upon us which often means our kids are spending more time outside playing in the sun. We’ve all heard that drinking water is essential to our bodies’ ability to function properly, but it’s easy for kids (and adults) to forget to drink water. I’m sharing 5 tips for keeping kids hydrated and they can easily be adapted to your family’s needs.
Personalized Cup or Tumbler
When it comes to cups, I try not to have too many out at any one time. One thing that helps is to give everyone their own personalized cup or tumbler. My kids know which cup is theirs and they use it anytime they need a drink during the day. This really cuts down on our dishes. Plus, it eliminates the whole “I want the (insert color) cup!”. If you don’t already have specific cups for your kids, consider taking them to the store and letting them pick their own. You can also take it a step further and put permanent vinyl on their cup with their name, initial or another symbol on it. (This could also help if you have more than one child who wants the same color/type of cup.)
My kids drink water almost all the time and don’t think twice about it. But I totally understand that regular water can get a little boring. That’s why we keep liquid flavor boosts, like Crystal Light and Mio, on hand. One or two squirts into their water gives it just enough flavor that they will resume their drinking. We have about four different flavors in our pantry and the kids like being able to choose the flavor they want in their drink.
Water, Not Juice
Like I mentioned above, water is the standard at our house and when my kids get juice, it’s a real treat for them. It can be tempting to give your kids juice to keep them hydrated because you want them to drink more liquid. But one of the problems with juice is the sugar (natural or added). This isn’t to say that all juice is bad and should be eliminated. However, limiting the amount of juice your child has is good for a healthy diet. If you want to give your child juice, or they are pushing back about drinking water, try watering down the juice before giving it to them. It will cut the sweetness and their bodies will get more of the essential fluids they need.
Keep Offering It To Them
If your child is currently not drinking enough water, don’t despair. The important thing is to keep offering it to them. Going along with this, if you want your child (or even yourself), to drink more water, cut down or eliminate the other drinks you have available. When they ask for a drink, offer water first. Eventually, they’ll start drinking more.
Make It Easily Accessible
As humans, I think we naturally gravitate towards what’s easiest. This also applies to what we drink. To keep your kids hydrated, make water the most easily accessible option. Keep a pitcher of it in the fridge (if you don’t have a water dispenser). Have it at the table for each meal. Fill up each person’s water cups and keep them on the table or counter where they are easily seen. Do what you can to help your kids establish this healthy habit.