Water helps organs to function properly, aids the passage of nutrients throughout the body, cools the body down, lubricates the joints and aids the removal of waste from the system, among other benefits. If people become dehydrated they also tend to have trouble concentrating, and education and work results are affected. All in all, water is an essential fluid that humans must get plenty of. However, when it comes to a child’s taste buds, they often prefer juice, cordial or soft drinks over healthy water. As a result, parents need to do what they can to encourage children to drink enough. While you can look at fun ways to color water or add slices of fruit or novelty ice blocks, there are also some other ideas that you can implement both inside your home and out to help kids drink up. Read on for three ways you can encourage your child to drink more water and get their required daily servings of H20 as a result.
Make Water Easily Accessible
One of the best ways to guarantee success is to plan for it by creating a water-friendly environment at home. Start introducing water to children as soon as possible and make it accessible to them at all times. When they’re babies, you can introduce them to a spoonful at a time or let them play with a sippy cup of water to learn how it works and how the new liquid tastes. Try different sorts of baby cups too — sometimes you won’t realise that certain cups with a no-spill spout make it difficult for bubs to access their water, so a free-flow design might work better. Some containers can also tend to give users a plastic or metal aftertaste, so again, try different options to see which your baby likes best.
It can also help to allocate a special cup to each child in the household if they’re old enough, let them have some control by choosing their own. Use this vessel only when drinking water and leave it in a spot that your child can reach in the home. You might find that older children, if allowed some freedom to fill up their cups from a fridge’s water dispenser or the tap when they choose, will end up drinking more than if you pour it for them each time. Having cold or filtered water on hand, especially in summer, is a good way to ensure that the drink is more appealing as well.
Take It to Go
Keep the good habits going when you’re out and about by ensuring each child in your family has their own personalized water bottle. Purchase a fun, bright, specially labeled bottle from a store such as Stuck on You and your child will be much more likely to want to drink from it. Take a few moments each night to fill up the water bottles and you’ll soon get in the habit of ensuring you never need to buy bottled water on the run. This is a cheaper and more environmentally friendly option, and a great routine to instill in your children. If you intend to be out of the house for many hours then take an Esky or water bottle cooler to keep the water at a drinkable temperature. If your child is of school age, then it also helps to freeze the water bottle at night so that the liquid ends up at a suitable drinking temperature.
Lead by Example
One of the best ways you can encourage your children to drink more water is to lead by example. Focus on developing this habit together as a family, and each day show your kids how much water you drink. Spend time explaining to your children why water consumption is an important part of healthy living and why drinking more of it is a healthy choice the whole family needs to make each day. Also ensure you keep the focus positive. Instead of telling your children that they’re not allowed soft drink or sugary cordials, focus on the fact that they do get to hydrate their bodies with fresh, clean water day in, day out.