My sister-in-law is raising a little troop of water drinkers. Her three little boys love it so much they even swipe her water bottle to quench their thirst. As a person who is not fond of water myself, this leaves me to wonder how I can build a better habit for me and my kids. It is obviously possible to get children to choose water.
Looking around the internet, I found that I’m not the only one in this boat. There are several tips and tricks out there to get your kids to increase their water intake. I’ve gathered a few here to share with you.
Add Some Fun Variety
I love putting limes in my water bottle. Having a little splash of citrus flavor goes a long way to making water taste better. There is almost no limit to the kinds of fruit you can put in water.
There are the old stand-by choices like lemons and limes. Broaden your aqua horizons with oranges, strawberries, or raspberries. Stick with sweet and citrus. You might enjoy cucumber melon, but the kids will probably wrinkle their noses at it.
Take this idea up a notch by freezing some berries in your ice cubes. You can also use a pitcher to let the fruit infuse the water overnight in the fridge for a more robust flavor.
We have some Tupperware cups with lids featuring Elsa and friends. The kids all enjoy using these, and they hold about 12 ounces. If my older kids drink 2-2 1/2 of those they will meet their requirements for the day. I have a 16 ounce Nalgene bottle I love to use on the trail and at home. Pint mason jars make great drinking glasses too.
The point is to have some appealing containers that motivate your kids to drink their water. We have a few different bottles and cups that each kid enjoys using. Don’t box yourself in thinking that cups are for home and bottles or things with lids are for outside. They will be more likely to use a vessel of their choosing.
Be a Good Example
I’m working on this trick too! I put lemons and limes in my water whenever we have them on hand. My husband and I have water with our meals and require the kids to do the same. There are glimmers of hope that I am passing on a good habit, such as my four-year-old choosing water to drink with his snack recently. (Is that the Hallelujah chorus playing in the background?)
Talk About The Signs of Dehydration
The first clear sign that you need some water is dark urine. It should be bright yellow or almost clear. When our kids are young enough that they need assistance in the restroom, we can easily monitor them. Have a talk with your older kids about keeping in tune with their body’s needs by watching their urine color. Was it a little dark? Have a glass of water or get a refill in your bottle.
I know I’ve been on the hydration soapbox for a few weeks in a row. Several years ago, I had some health problems due to consistently depriving my body of enough water. So I’m passionate about this topic. I hope these tips help you and your family keep well-hydrated this Spring, Summer, and beyond.