Water’s the name and hydration’s the game!
Water is important all year round, but especially during the summer when it’s easy to get dehydrated. Bad habits are hard to break and if kids have developed a taste for sugary drinks, it’s tricky to tempt them with plain old water. Here are seven nifty ways to get them to knock back their recommended intake.
Choose A Cool New Cup
We all like something new and while us adults are obsessed with mugs, young kids adore cups emblazoned with their favourite characters. Strike a deal, and insist that if you let them choose a new cup, they’ll only use it for water. While Peppa and her love of jumping in muddy puddles might irritate the hell out of you, she might just help encourage them to drink water of a cleaner kind.
On Your Marks…
Older kids will enjoy using a reusable bottle for their water, especially when they’re out and about. A good tip is to get one with markings that encourage them to drink up. I’ve seen some clever designs that have a motivational message and will show them how much they should have drunk by a certain time of day. If the bottle can do the nagging for you (as well as hold their water) it’s a win, win!
Be A Really Good Role Model
Most mums will admit to having a favourite hiding place for consuming treats away from little eyes. However, while we’d prefer our kids not to know that we’re a chocolate addict, we forget that they also notice what we’re drinking. If they see you guzzling water like there’s no tomorrow (and don’t know about the odd can of coke) they’re much more likely to do the same.
Bring A Bottle
When you’re on a day out, everyone will get thirsty, but this is where preparation is key. Whether it’s the beach or the zoo, there will always be shops and stands that will tempt kids to indulge in a sugary beverage. Bring plenty of water with you and you’ll have happy hydrated kids and won’t have to waste your time in a queue.
The Race Is On!
All children love a challenge so why not see who can drink the most water and track it on a chart. My son loves to compare who has done the most steps in the family, but while adult Fitbits track water intake, kids versions don’t currently. Therefore, it will have to be a homemade version which no doubt they’ll enjoy making and using just as much. Agree on a reward for the winner and wait and see who can drink the most water.
Taste Is Everything
Probably the most important factor in getting kids to consume something that’s good for them is the taste. While water is bland, there are ways to improve the flavour. Filtered water can improve it a lot and it’s cheaper and better for the environment than buying bottled water. In addition, to spice it up further, why not add slices of lemon, orange or lime - they’ll get a hint of fruit and it’s still healthy.
Do It Yourself!
Last but not least, make sure they’re able to fill up their own cup or bottle themselves. Whether that’s by putting a durable jug on the table or getting a little step so they can reach the tap. It’s one less thing for you to do and they won’t have to wait around, so are more likely to drink more. They’ll also love anything that will give them more independence and older siblings can help younger brothers and sisters.