As much as you may like to, it’s pretty much impossible to trail your kid all day and make sure they’re getting enough water. But just like adults, kids get distracted easily and forget to drink water until they’re thirsty — at which point they’re already dehydrated.
Luckily, we have some sneaky parent strategies to ensure your kids stay well-hydrated, even when you can’t be there to remind them to drink every twenty minutes. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children drink six glasses of water on a normal day (and more on extremely hot days or days when they have lots of activities). The easiest way to help your child get the recommended amount of water is by getting them in the habit of drinking with every meal and throughout the day. Have water at every meal of the day and with snacks, and gear them up with a reusable kids water bottle to keep by their side. In fact, invest in several kids water bottles to keep at home, in the car, and in the backpack, and always have a few filled up and in the fridge, ready to go at a moment’s notice.
Pro tip: let your kiddo help pick out a fun pattern or color that they absolutely adore to make drinking out of it more appealing. We can help you get started.
During activity, a child can lose up to a half-liter of fluid per hour. For especially active kids who are into sports, staying hydrated during practices and games is crucial (especially when the weather is hot). Any time there’s a break in the activity, encourage all the kids to take sips from their water bottles (in a shaded area, if possible). Afterwards, make a healthy snack paired with water part of the celebration (bonus points if the snack is a hydrating food like watermelon!).
Studies have shown that kids regularly prefer flavored beverages to plain water, but as a parent, you’re not wild about all the added sugar in typical sports drinks or other flavored drinks. Your strategy? Fruit-infused water. Your kid will love the sweet tastes and the fun of coming up with their own concoctions, and you’ll be thrilled that your child is drinking water and enjoying all the health benefits of fruit-infused water. You can even experiment with making your own fruit popsicles as a way to help kids cool off even faster in hot weather. It’s a win-win!
Hydrate with Food
We know — sounds a little strange. However, fruits and vegetables typically have a pretty high water content, and by strategically included ones with the highest water content in meals and snacks, you’ll help your kid stay hydrated and add some variety into their diet.
A hydrated kid is a happy kid. By teaching your kids the importance of hydration at a young age, you’re setting them up for a successful hydration habit throughout their lives.