How to Get Kids Excited About Drinking Water
Kids get excited easily about things like superheroes, wrestling and cartoons, but how can we get kids excited about water?
Like adults, water is essential for children, and they need plenty of it for their growing bodies. Kids need water all the time, but especially while at school, playing sports, and when sick. In this blog, we’ll talk about the dangers of not drinking enough water, the recommended daily intake of water and, of course, some fun tips to get kids to consume more water!
What Happens When Kids Don’t Drink Enough Water?
Kids have a higher risk of dehydration than adults due to their lower body weight and smaller allocation of body fluids in their bodies. Plus, kids have a higher surface-to-mass ratio than adults.
“Mild dehydration leads to symptoms like fatigue, headache, and poor endurance. Longer-term, chronic lack of fluids affects the kidneys, the liver, the brain, and can lead to constipation, which can be very problematic,” explains Linda Friehling, MD, at West Virginia University in Morgantown.
Children show a noticeable impairment in cognitive function along with their motor skills when two percent or more of their body weight is lost due to dehydration.
How Much Water Should Kids Be Drinking?
Children should be drinking at least one liter, or about 34 ounces, of water per day. Parents need to find out from teachers how much their children consume per day while at school. Another question parents might want to ask their teacher is how often their child is going to the restroom.
All children are uniquely different, and that goes for how they drink their water. Some like their water ice cold while some prefer it at room temperature.
Parents, teachers, and coaches need to uncover kids’ drinking habits. Kids will drink more if they have the water they prefer readily available. By doing this, kids will ask more questions about the benefits of water and how vital it is for their bodies.
Why Kids Aren’t Getting Enough Water
You’ve probably heard all the excuses, too, but here are some of the reasons children don’t drink enough water:
Of course, children also may not be getting enough water due to lack of availability at school, daycare or other facilities. In these situations, it’s a great idea to send single serve water bottles with your children so you know they have access to water whenever they are thirsty.
Providing your child his or her own bottle of water is also ideal because Travelmath found that there are 1,240 colony-forming units of bacteria per square inch on water fountain buttons, which is more than is commonly found on bathroom stall locks.
Healthy Habits that Increase Water Intake
Here are some more great ways to ensure your children are getting plenty of water to stay healthy and hydrated!
Have water readily available for children when they are eating their favorite healthy snacks. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with water, so this can be another source of water consumption. Make it even more fun by combining fruit in the water to make a fruit-infused water.
Be a robust role model
Water is essential for all ages, so we must set the standard by drinking plenty of water in front of children, too. Lead by example, and children will follow.
How are your children going to drink water when you are not drinking water in front of them? Adults can get the satisfaction and the benefits of drinking water along with knowing their children are, too.
Make it fun
Place water in their favorite cups or have crazy straws in their cup. Their excitement will be unmatched, and straws, no matter what they look like, help us to drink more water without even realizing it!
Make it a habit
Start early and make it a family event during meals and throughout the day, as well! You could also set schedules and reminders of when to drink water; we even wrote a blog on ways to remember to drink more water! This way, it will become second nature. Start small in ounces and gradually increase the amount of water.
As technology continues to evolve, there are several apps to track kids’ water amount. If you have a smartphone/tablet, review what apps make sense to you to download.
We do recommend that adults thoroughly check the app first to ensure the children are not using an app that promotes diet culture messaging relating to body sizes!
- Carbodroid: This app allows the children to power up a robot that includes reminders with a simple process to follow
- Plant Nanny: Kids help grow a seedling by tracking water consumption.
Teach children the urine color test
Lastly, it’s so important to educate children on the urine color test to be able to identify when they are dehydrated.
- Healthy Color: Pale yellow to light yellow
- Dehydration: Darker yellow
- Emergency: Brown
Drinking More Water Makes for Happier, Healthier Kids
Bottom line, whatever you can do to get kids to enjoy water from a young age, you’re setting up the child for a healthier, more successful future! Whether you need water filtration and purification units to address funny tastes or smells associated with your home’s water or if you just need single serve water delivered to your doorstep by the case, Exell is here to help!