As an adult, you probably know how challenging it can be to drink enough water. Many of us know that as an adult you should drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water. That means if you are an individual who weighs 200lbs, you should aim for at least 100 ounces of water each day. (more if you are nursing, working out heavily, or simply feel the need for more) But what about children? How much water should they be drinking to stay hydrated? How can you help get your kids to drink more water?
According to VeryWellFamily.com, children ages 4-8 should drink at least 5 cups (8oz) of water per day. Ages 9-13 should aim for 7 cups (girls) and 8 cups (boys), with children ages 14-18 drinking 8 cups (girls) and 11 cups (boys). (source)
But drinking water is not that easy especially when there are other drinks being paraded around to our children like sports drinks, juice, milk, and soda. When it comes to drinking water for our children (and ourselves) the key to success is ROUTINE. We need to make drinking water part of our everyday routine. It cannot be a chore or something viewed negatively. How can we make this a reality? Let’s talk about it.
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How To Make Drinking Water Simple For Kids
The first thing I highly recommend, especially if you are parenting little ones (ages 8 and under) is to have a “water-only” spillproof water bottle that is filled at all times. Moms, this may mean that you (or whoever is with the kids) need to check it multiple times a day to keep it filled. We use these insulated water bottles and they are awesome. These water bottles can travel anywhere in the house without me worrying that they will spill and they keep their water cold, which my kids prefer. Plus the colors are beautiful and easy to spot anywhere in the house.
Here are a few other spill-proof water bottles for kids that we have used over the years and really enjoyed:
- CamelBak Eddy+ Kids 12 oz Bottle
- Contigo Spill-Proof Kids Tritan Straw Tumbler
- Newdora Sports Water Bottle with Straw
Once you have a water bottle figured out, here’s my “routine” for the ‘traveling water bottle’:
- Refill the water bottle first thing in the morning so the kids can drink it upon waking up.
- Make sure to hand it to them or set it near them when they roll out of bed.
- Whenever you see the water bottle sitting alone, that’s the perfect opportunity for you to refill it and have it in view for your kids to grab at any possible moment. You can also bring it to them if they are playing etc. Be the water fairy and have it show up everywhere they are! If it’s there, they will drink it.
- Remind the kids to refill their water bottle midday. (or do it for them if they are young)
Tips To Increase Your Kids Water Consumption
Now that we have figured out your traveling water bottle to help make access to water simple, let’s talk about how to make drinking water simpler for kids (and you).
There are a few things you can do if you are struggling to get your children to drink enough water during the day. (These hacks will work for adults too!)
1. For every non-water drink, you must drink a glass of water first.
I challenge myself to this especially during the winter when all I want to drink it hot coffee. Agreeing with myself to drink a glass of water before allowing another cup of coffee ensures that I’m at least getting SOME water in during the day.
For our kids, if they want something like orange juice for breakfast, they have to drink some water before they sit down for their meal with OJ. It works pretty well most days
2. Have water at every meal either as the main drink or as a partner to your other drink of choice.
Sometimes the biggest reason we aren’t drinking enough water is that we don’t have “quick” access to it. Sure we can grab a glass and get some water from the faucet but many times we see grabbing a can from the fridge as a quicker option. If we make sure to always give ourselves water as an option it’s highly likely that you will drink more of it.
It’s also important that we remember our bodies WANT water. You know when you need water and your body will naturally gravitate towards it if it is there for the taking. Why not set yourself up for success by having it right within arms reach?
3. Try infused water to spice up your day.
There are so many delicious ways to enhance your water naturally so why not use that to your advantage? Here are some combinations for fruit infused water for you and your kids.
- Blueberry and Lime
- Lemon and Cucumber
- Orange and Mango
- Frozen Pineapple
- Watermelon and Rosemary
- Raspberry and Mint
Obviously these are just a few combination ideas and you can change them as you please. Truth is, you can mix and match or do any of these flavors solo and you will love it!
4. Eat more fresh fruit and vegetables.
Foods like watermelon are so high in water content so adding those to your daily routine will help your kids increase their water consumption. If your kids aren’t drinking a glass of water at lunch but do eat a bowl of watermelon, you’re winning!
8 of the most hydrating fruits and vegetables.
5. Make Drinking Water Fun For Kids
For some, drinking enough water in a day can be quite a challenge. That’s why it’s important to make drinking water fun until it becomes a habit. I created a printable PDF so you can encourage your kids to drink more water and eat more hydrating fruits and vegetables throughout the week. It only takes 14 days to build or habit so once you get through this one tracker sheet you should be on your way to hydrating success!
If you decide to give this water tracker sheet a try to be sure to tag me on Instagram (@realisticplantbasedmama) so we can see your kids’ progress! Be sure to also join us in our Facebook group to stay accountable and encouraged on this journey.
You can also find Realistic Plant-Based Mama on TikTok. (I’m a newbie but I’m there!)
Share your greatest tips for getting your kids to drink water in the comments! What about for you? Do you drink your water like you should? It’s definitely a challenge that I am constantly working on.
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