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How to get kids to drink more water
We all know that water is hands-down, the best things for all of us to drink. We all know that we should be drinking more of it, but we don’t always do it. What about our kids?
Why should kids drink water?
There are many reasons why kids should be drinking more water. There is the obvious obesity problem in children. The cause of this problem is a number of things, but it usually comes down to excess calories and not enough exercise. One easy way to get rid of excess calories is eliminating high-calorie beverages. Children should be getting calories from foods (hopefully healthy ones) and not beverages.
Even if your child isn’t overweight, drinking water has many other benefits. Drinking water is clearly better for dental health. Staying hydrated is good for the skin, energy levels, and pretty much everything else!
Explaining to kids that our bodies are over 70% water is a great way for them to understand how important water is for our bodies. Drinking lots of water is particularly important in the summer months or any time that kids are using more energy.
So, how do you get kids to drink more water?
Most of us know why kids need to drink more water, how to get kids to drink more water is the problem. Here are seven simple steps for how to get kids to drink more water without a struggle:
1. Start early
If you have older kids, you can skip this first tip. The best way to not only ensure that kids drink water, but that they like water, is to offer it to them from a young age. Of course, new babies don’t need anything besides breast milk (or formula) but once you start offering beverages from a cup, give them water. Babies and kids don’t need juice, ask any dentist. Juice should be reserved for special treats and soda should be avoided as much as possible. If you give your children milk, make it plain with no flavor or added sugar. The same goes if you give them alternative milk like almond or cashew.
Related post: You might also enjoy, how to get kids to do chores.
2. Offer it in fun cups
This was a game changer for my oldest. I always gave him juice (watered down) when he was little because I didn’t know better. I started offering him water in fun cups, and he was far more interested.
We currently use Funtainer stainless cups. I bought these cups for the kids two years ago, and they’re still going strong. We have Star Wars, Frozen, and Jurassic Park cups. Using a cup with the child’s favorite character is a great way to help them love drinking water. Designate this special cup as water only.
My husband and I both have a Hydroflask. They’re a little pricey for kids (you wouldn’t want them getting lost!), but we can’t recommend them enough.
3. Add ice
Garrick, my 4-year old, absolutely loves ice. You can also add fruit in the ice for some fun or added flavor. The ice machine on the fridge doesn’t work, so we bought these silicone bottom ice trays. Our freezer is below the fridge, so the kids can quickly get their ice. It pops out of the trays easily with the silicone.
4. Add fruit
If the kids are resistant, try adding lime, oranges, or a little citrus juice in the water. Even a little bit of flavor might help them enjoy the water more.
5. Set a good example
If you’re sitting there with a can of Dr. Pepper, it’s a little hypocritical to be telling your kids to drink only water. Kids watch every single thing that you do, so try to set a good example. If you’re struggling to drink more water, try the tips mentioned above! A little fruit or a good water bottle can go a long way. I had to buy a second Hydroflask because my husband stole mine for work. I use a 24 oz at home and he takes the 40 oz to work.
6. Explain to them why we need water
Kids understand a lot more than what we realize. Simply explaining to them just why we need water is a great way to get them to drink more of it. This article from Kids Health is short and to the point. Also consider watching health documentaries with kids, which can explain why soda and other processed foods are a bad choice.
The following documentaries may be appropriate depending on the ages of your children:
- Hungry for Change
- Food Matters (Prime!)
- Food, Inc.
- Forks over Knives
- Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead (Prime!)
Most of these are available on Netflix. Two of them are also available on Amazon Prime. You can get 30 days free by using this link. We watch so many documentaries on Amazon Prime. There are many, many education documentaries on a variety of topics.
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7. Be consistent
Don’t give up if the kids don’t like water right away. If they’ve spent a long time drinking other beverages, it will be an adjustment. It takes a while for a palette to adjust to a big change. Just know that they will get thirsty and they will drink the water. Try to make it more fun, set a good example, and do your best.
I hope this helped answer your questions on how to get kids to drink more water. Do you have any tips to add? Please share them in the comments!