This may surprise you, but studies have shown that there is no magic number – no, not even eight glasses a day. What you need to know is that the recommended water intake differs by age and gender. Four glasses for those aged 1 to 3, five glasses for those aged 4 to 8, and seven and eight glasses for girls and boys aged 9 to 13 respectively.
Keeping your kids hydrated with water has numerous health benefits, such as maintaining the balance of body fluids, controlling calories and boosting metabolism. However, getting kids to drink more water may be challenging, especially when there are many varieties of sugary drinks competing for their attention.
Here are some practical and fun ways that may help:
Make it easy
This means making water accessible for your kids to drink. Place a few bottles of water in the fridge where it is visible and within reach. Or you could always get your kids a big tumbler with their favourite cartoon character on it. This is a simple yet effective way to increase their water intake in one sitting. But don’t forget to hide the sugary drinks - as the saying goes - “Out of sight, out of mind”!
Make it fruity
What do you do when your kids start crying for sugary drinks? We have a ‘sweet’ idea - infuse water with fresh fruit! Fruits are a healthy way to add some natural sweetness and vitamins to plain water.
To make it really fun, get your kids to make fruity ice cubes. Simply freeze an ice tray filled with water and slices of their favorite fruit. Pop the fruity ice cubes into a glass of sparkling water and it becomes a refreshing soda!
Make it a habit
Good habits take some motivation to build, but once you get into a routine, it is much easier to stick to it. This goes for water drinking too. Start by drinking a cup of water at the same time each day – it could be right after waking up, or before each meal or snack.
Remember, kids tend to look to their parents as role models, so start by practising what you preach. Drink more water in front of or with your kids. Use an alarm on your mobile phones as a reminder.
Make it fun
Drinking water can even be turned into a fun game for the whole family! Simply assign points for every glass of water consumed and keep track of each member’s score on a leaderboard. Your little ones will enjoy tallying the scores, and may even start to drink water without you having to push them.
Getting your kids to drink water doesn’t have to be an uphill battle – these practical and fun ways are sure to get your kids reaching for another bottle.