It may sound simple and easy, but many parents can struggle with getting their children properly hydrated each day. Some kids don’t like the taste of water, or simply refuse to drink it as much as they should. Or your kids may drink water but still do not get enough in a day. But proper hydration through water consumption is vital for children for a myriad of reasons.

Staying Healthy

For kids and adults alike, everybody needs water to stay healthy and hydrated. But water does more than just replenish your body’s hydration; not drinking enough water can lead to physical ailments, like headaches, sore joints, and fatigue. Water keeps your body running smooth so when it’s dehydrated, the body suffers overall. Water also keeps kids’ cognitive capabilities at peak performance, helping combat against reduced cognitive function and poor concentration. If your child is involved in sports and not staying properly hydrated, their level of performance will suffer as well. Staying hydrated is vital for the support of your child’s growth and mental health.

Staying Hydrated

So how do you keep your children hydrated on a daily basis? Whether they like water or not, it is important that children drink as much as possible every day. There are multiple ways of going about getting your children to drink more water, whether it is incorporating games into it or simply offering better or healthier options to their diet. If your children already drink water and do not mind the taste, then try incorporating more water-rich foods or drinks into their lunches or snack times. If they drink soda during lunch, for instance, and water for the rest of the day, replace the soda with water but give them a fruit-flavor option they can add to the water to give it more flavor. These packets are typically low in sugar and calories but still provide children with more water without sacrificing the taste. Also offer your children more water-rich foods, like cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, and apples. These foods are already healthy to begin with, and also provide extra water to help keep your children extra hydrated. 

Staying Focused

If your children are more reluctant to drink water, you can always incorporate games and contests to encourage them to drink more on their own. Purchase reusable water bottles in their favorite colors, and provide stickers for them to make them unique to encourage using them. Have your kids challenge each other in who can drink the most water, whether it is on a daily or weekly basis to give them a little bit of a competitive edge. This can help them forget how much they “hate” water and simply make it a game instead of a chore.   

Katie Kyzivat