Staying hydrated is easily one of the most important things you can do for your health! You know water is good for you and is vital in keeping everything moving along in your body as it should. However, your kiddos often have yet to embrace the importance of hydration! It can be difficult to get your child to drink the liquid their body requires on a daily basis, especially in the summer when they are usually extra active and exposed to rising temperatures that put them at risk of dehydrating. Luckily, there are a few small steps you can take to make keeping them hydrated that much easier with without turning into a nagging mama or papa.
Have water easily accessible to them.
Whether it is a water bottle on the counter that they can grab when they are thirsty or a step stool up to the sink with a little cup they can easily fill themselves, make drinking water an easy and independent thing for your child. Children love being able to meet their own needs and allowing them to independently get their own H2O when thirst hits will only inspire them to drink more! I love this water bottle and this water bottle for my preschool daughter.
Serve water-rich foods
Junior has been running around all morning in the summer heat and his cheeks are as red as can be. Encourage him to take a big ol’ swig from his water bottle and offer him a popsicle made with coconut water or a big slice of watermelon! Grapes, tomatoes, and cucumbers are also water packed plants that help kiddos hydrate a little extra! I love to make these Watermelon “popsicles” in the summer as a healthy snack for my daughter or students.
Drink your own water!
I always keep my own water bottle out and filled for my daughter and students to see. When I want to encourage them to take a drink, I’ll verbalize “oh man. My body is telling me I’m thirsty, I’d better stop and have some water” and take a big drink. More often than not, that visual cue of an adult they love listening to their body’s need for water will inspire a child to listen to their own body cues of thirst! Just make sure their water bottle is full!
Make water fun!
Let’s face it. Water can get a bit blah. Jazz it up with some fun fruit and make infused water! My daughter gets a kick out of strawberries floating in her water and has a blast muddling them them up with a straw to turn her water pink! Allow you child to make their own infused water for the day or a meal by taking a few small pieces of fruits or herbs and adding it their water. They will find it fun, extra delicious, and likely want to drink water that much sooner! I sometimes put my daughter’s water in a wine glass from the dollar store! She loves how fancy and grown up it makes her feel and happily drinks her water.
Developing healthy hydration habits can and should start in the early years of life! Children develop healthy habits that they carry with them all their life by age 5 and teaching your child keep their body well hydrated when they are young will only set them up for a lifetime of health!
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