Keeping Your Kids Hydrated When They Don’t Like Water

The benefits of drinking water – for adults and kids – are crystal. Water is essential for the proper functioning of the organs, facilitating healthy body processes (like digestion and excretion), maintaining healthy looking skin, and much more. However, some people (especially kids) dislike water and require more persuasion to drink. 

Even though you know they don’t drink enough, the constant question in your head is, how much water should your kids drink? 

Read on and learn what science says about quantities kids should drink and creative ways you could use to keep them hydrated. 

Photo by Mary Taylor

How much water should your child drink?

No two kids are alike. Your kid’s water intake depends on various factors such as weight, activity levels, and health status. Avoid comparing your kids with others or feeling guilty when they don’t match others. 

Rather than compare with other kids, talk to their doctor about it, then match them up with standards set by scientists. For example, use these guidelines set by the American Academy of Pediatrics

  • Below three years – 4 cups of hydrating fluids every day. 
  • Ages 4-8 need five cups, 
  • Older than eight years require 7-8 cups. 

Of course, it is easier to influence younger kids to drink more water even if they don’t like it. But as they grow older, simple strategies may not work. Ironically, that’s when they should drink more. Tasty and stylish water bottles will help you be more creative and make water the beverage of choice. Here are more tips on how to keep kids hydrated even if they don’t like water.

Make hydrating liquids available

Make water bottles and other healthy, hydrating fluids available and easy to access. Look around the house and ask yourself, do the kids have something to sip even during still moments like screen time or when on car rides?

If you are planning to be out for a while, pack extra water bottles for your kids so they may have something to sip anytime they feel like it.  

Make drinking fun

As the adage goes, you may take the horse to the well, but you cannot force them to drink. You may make water available and easy to access, but this does not guarantee kids will drink it. 

Think of ways to make drinking fun and stylish. For example, let the kids pick their bottles or cups, get crazy straws, prepare fun-shaped ice cubes, and many others. 

Spike the drink

A glass of pure water is refreshing. But for kids who don’t like water, plain water could be boring. You can get them more excited about sipping by adding flavors or buying fruit infused water

Here are ideas to spike the water and make it fun. 

  • Add a slice of fruit like lemon, orange, or grapefruit. 
  • Drop in fresh herbs like basil, mint, or rosemary
  • Add refreshing veggies like cucumber. 
  • Pour a splash of fruit juice

Provide hydrating foods

Body hydration does not come exclusively from water. Eating juicy fruits and veggies will also help your little ones stay hydrated. Add these foods to their diets. 

Invest in drinking equipment

Your kid could fall for a new water bottle just like an adult would love a new coffee mug. Surprise them with a water bottle gift every once in a while. Also, invest in an assortment of drinking equipment for every occasion at home and away from home

Photo by Kamaji Ogino

Limit sugary drinks

If your kids don’t like water, you could get the temptation to supplement it with sugary drinks. But sugary drinks have a dehydrating effect and are often calorie-packed. They are not the best for promoting healthy habits. So, limit the availability of sugary beverages and boost the water bottles.

Have reminders and rewards for drinking water 

You will need a system to help you monitor all those bottles of drinking water. Set up charts on the refrigerator or in your electronic devices and alarm reminders to alert you and help keep track. Also, plan to reward the kiddos when they drink up and meet daily or weekly targets. 

Model good hydrating habits

To develop good hydrating habits in your kids, you ought to model them. They are more likely to be good drinkers if they see in you a good drinker. The results are what you want – good health for you and your family. 

Closing remarks, help your kids grow up loving water

When you apply these tips, the young ones (even the ones who don’t like water) will grow up to know water is the drink of choice. It is a great habit to instill and an excellent strategy for caring for your family’s health.

Last Updated on 2 months by Lavania Oluban

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