All living things must have water to live, whether they get it from a water fountain, a refrigerator, or from a bottle. Without water, your body would stop working properly. Water makes up more than half of your body weight and a person can’t survive for more than a few days without it. Children’s bodies in particular have lots of important functions and need water to do many of them.
Water is good for oral health, digestion, immune system, skin, and weight management. For instance, children’s bodies need a constant supply of water to ensure that their bodies are able to carry out all of the functions that allow them to learn, grow and be physically active. When children do not drink enough water, they may experience mild dehydration, which can cause them to feel tired and leave them without energy.
Blood, which contains a lot of water, carries oxygen to all the cells of your body. Without oxygen, those tiny cells would die and your body would stop functioning.
There is no magic amount of water children need to drink every day. Usually, children like to drink something with meals and should certainly drink when they are thirsty. Drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid a day, because all fluids count toward the daily total. But when it’s warm out or you’re exercising, you’ll need more. Be sure to drink some extra water when you’re out in warm weather, especially while playing sports or exercising.
Tips on keeping your children hydrated:
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines emphasize that we drink more water instead of sugary drinks.
Omnipresent H2O – Make water always available to your kids. If you don’t have an icemaker and water fountain integrated into your fridge, keep a pitcher of iced water in the fridge. Serve plain water with every meal. To create the habit in your children of drinking water throughout the day, encourage them to take a bottle of water to their room, to the backyard, to the skate park … and wherever else they go.
Buy them cool water bottles. Let your kids pick out their own reusable water bottles. If it looks stylish, they will want to carry it around like a fashion accessory.
Are we all clear on pee? Whether we like it or not, kids think talking about pee and poop is the funniest thing ever. Take advantage of that. Explain to your children that when they urine is dark yellow, they need to drink more water. Their goal is to drink enough water for their pee to be light yellow or almost clear. Make it a challenge and your kids will want to get really good at peeing near-clear liquid.
Be their hydration hero. Be a good role model. Yeah, we know we sound like a broken record on this one, if they see you drinking water, chances are they will follow suit. You can’t drink diet coke and coffee all day long and expect your kids to be perfectly content with nothing else but plain water. So just do it. If they see their parents drink plain water all the time, it will be the norm for your children.
Ice it! Kids are more likely to drink plain water if it’s chilled. Even if they rather crunch or suck on ice cubes, they are still getting what you want them to have – plain water!