Get Kids Started Drinking Water Early

Edited by Monica Leslie, Eng, VC, Yuliya

Everyone needs water. Water is important in distributing Oxygen to the body's cells, and in getting rid of toxins. Drinking plenty of water helps prevent the formation of kidney stones, and stave off constipation. Children and adults lose water throughout the day regardless of their activity levels, which needs to be replenished to avoid dehydration.

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Introducing your child to water early in their lives can build a good lifelong habit. Children under 6 months old do not need water! After 6 months you can start letting your baby sip some water throughout the day, and past 1 year old the daily water intake can increase.

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So as a parent, how can you get your child to drink water? Try these tips.

Tips and tricks to help your child enjoy drinking

  1. 1
    Make Drinking Water Fun. Buy colorful, fun-shaped straws and let your child choose a special straw to drink their water. Many children like drinking with a straw and will continue sipping the water until it is gone purely for the novelty of watching the water travel through the straw.
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  2. 2
    Make Water More Available. Keep water readily available and within reach of your children at all times. Encourage them to drink at various points in the day. Do this often enough and regularly drinking water will become a part of your child's daily routine.
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  3. 3
    Use Ice or Shaped Ice Cubes. Buy ice cube trays in shapes and let your child help fill the trays. Show them the tray in the freezer and when the ice is ready, help them take the tray out. You can pop the ice cube shapes out of the tray into their cup. Children like the sound of ice in the cup and the shapes will fascinate them. As a bonus, the entire process will be a fun learning experience!
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  4. 4
    Serve Water in a Special Cup. Try giving your child water in a colorful cup or bottle. There are many sippy cups and kid's drinking cups in the shape of popular characters or with colorful designs on the cup. Make this cup the special water cup, and only serve water in it. The colors and designs on a bottle interest a child and will make him or her want to drink more water. Some children like drinking out of a water bottle. This makes them feel older and more independent like older siblings in the house, if they have any. Create color coded water bottles for each family member. By doing this you can easily see who is drinking water and who might need a bit more encouragement.
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  5. 5
    Add a Floating Fruit Slice. Some parents have found success by putting in a lemon wedge or squeezing some fresh orange into their child's water. Let the child do this if they are old enough.
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  6. 6
    Limit Liquid Choice Options. Give your child limited options on what to drink throughout the day. This will also prevent your child from developing a fondness for unhealthy soft or sugary drinks.
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  7. 7
    Serve Water at Events. What with all the pizza and ice cream, there will definitely be enough junk food at your child's birthday party without gallons upon gallons of sugary soft drinks. Instead of soda, give the kids custom-bottled water to wash that piece of cake down with!
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  8. 8
    Set a Good Example. Most importantly, be sure to set a good example by drinking water in their presence. Most children want to imitate what their parents are doing, especially when it comes to eating and drinking. If they see you drinking a soda then that's what they will want, so make sure you drink water and forego soft drinks.
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  9. 9
    Discuss the Benefits. As your children get older, have a family discussion and explain to them why drinking water is important to their good health. By discussing it, you can explain the many reasons why their body needs adequate water every day. Children want and need certain guidelines on how to be healthy.
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  10. 10
    Read Books About Water and Health. Take a trip to your local library to find related books to teach your child why their body needs water. There are many children's books that do a great job of teaching the health benefits of water.
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  11. 11
    Have a Water Station Outside. Set up a "water station" if your kids are playing outside. This can be as simple as a small table with a pitcher of water and some cups.
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  12. 12
    Take Water Along When Travelling. This will prevent stops at fast food restaurants where other beverages will tempt them and you.
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  13. 13
    Send a Water Bottle to School. Don't forget about sending your children to school with a water bottle or another kind of water container. That way they can drink from their water bottle throughout the day. Most schools now allow this and your child will get into the habit of drinking water throughout the day. If your child takes his or her lunch to school, pack a water bottle inside their lunchbox.
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  14. 14
    Choose Water Only When Eating Out. When your family eats out at a restaurant, make a decision that everyone in the family only drinks water with their meal. This will save you money, as well as reinforce the habit of drinking more water.
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  • Getting kids to drink more water can be frustrating at first. However, by trying these simple tips, you can have your children enjoying water and getting off to a healthy start in life in no time.

Sources and Citations

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Categories : Parenting

Recent edits by: VC, Eng, Monica Leslie

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