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7 Tips To Encourage Proper Hydration For Kids
This is a guest blog post from Lauren Weber, owner of Michigan mom blog Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood.
With spring sports and more outdoor play on the horizon, it’s time to start thinking about keeping our kids hydrated.
As a mom to three active children, I sometimes feel like I am the water fountain itself – my kids drink a ton of water, and for good reason – they play hard!
Hydration guidelines from the U.S. Institute of Medicine, suggest healthy 4-8-year old children need about 7.5 cups of fluid per day, while 9-13-year old children and 14-18-year-old females need about 10 cups. Males 14-18 years of age need about 14 cups. That’s a lot, right? Like adults, children usually let thirst be their guide, however, being physically active can greatly increase the amount of fluids children need to consume.
Instead of just relying on constant reminders to keep drinking water, try these tips to encourage proper hydration in kids:
When the kids beg for snacks, encourage water sipping first.
Since children can’t always vocalize their needs, it’s easy to mistake hunger for thirst. We encourage our kids to drink a small glass of water and wait 5 minutes before asking for a snack when it’s close to mealtime. Most times, the water is able to fill them enough to keep going until the next meal.
Include water-based foods at mealtime.
Many fruits and vegetables are made up mostly of water, making it easy to get in some extra hydration at breakfast, lunch and dinner. A few of our family favorites include cut-up watermelon, grapes, cucumber and broccoli.
Get in the habit of serving water with meals.
I serve my kids milk and occasionally juice with a meal, but water is always on the table, too – just like at a restaurant. This helps so I don’t have to get up a million times, and they almost always drink it following their “fun” beverage because they understand they do not get refills unless it’s water.
Let your kids add their own ice.
This simple trick goes a LONG way with the younger crowd. My kids love grabbing a few ice cubes to place in their water.
Change up the flavor.
If water is simply “too boring” for your child, consider a sugar-free drink mix or even infusing it with frozen fruit to make it more tasty.
Let your child pick their cup.
My kids are much more likely to drink what’s inside if they love the outside of their cup. Mine have their favorites they shout out often. I figure it’s a small price to pay to keep them happy.
Pack water – no matter how close the destination is.
It never fails, we start driving, and my kids cry out “I’m thirsty.” We always pack travel cups with lids and straws for each child, and keep extra water in the vehicle as well in case we run out. We love the Absopure Packables for this reason.
Happily hydrated kids = happy parents. Can’t beat that formula!
What do you do to ensure your children stay hydrated?
Lauren Weber blogs at Mrs. Weber’s Neighborhood, where she shares about her life with three children, as well as tips, recipes, and fun happening around Southeast Michigan.