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Six Tips for Keeping Kids Hydrated
As an adult, you know that staying hydrated makes you feel your best and lets you perform at your peak. For you, drinking water isn't a challenge, but something you probably do instinctively at this point. You might even use a smartphone app to track your water consumption. Kids may not be quite as keen on keeping up with their fluid intake.
You don't have to trick your kids into drinking water though. Follow these six simple tips from Pottery Barn Kids to keep your kids hydrated through the day and build healthy habits for the future.
Start the Day Off Right
Mornings are busy times for parents and kids. You're rushing to get kids out the door for school and getting ready for your day at work. Proper hydration can still be a part of your morning routine.
Healthy natural beverages like orange juice and milk have a place at most tables, and they do work to get your child ready for the day. Natural sugars and protein also provide energy for your kids until it's time for lunch. There's no reason you can't add water to the mix.
For most kids, a small glass of water equivalent to their morning juice is a must. You can also send slightly older kids off to school with a bottle of water in their hand or backpack so they can sip on their own.
Lead by Example
Busy parents can sometimes forget to drink water. This can leave you feeling tired and run down, but even worse, it can teach your kids that drinking water isn't a top priority. Lead by example by staying hydrated yourself, and make sure you always drink a glass after going outdoors, exercising or taking on any other form of vigorous activity with your kids.
Make Hydration Part of an Activity
How often do you sit down at the kitchen table with a tall glass of water, devoting all of your energy to consuming every ounce in front of you? If you're like most people, not very often. Instead, you grab a glass of water and drink it while you move from task to task, at your computer, or even in front of the television. Why would we expect anything different from our children?
Instead of making drinking water an activity, let kids drink while doing homework, watching TV, playing games, or any other activity they do. Just make sure you keep that glass of water in a spill-proof cup if you've got very young children prone to accidents.
Serve Water with Meals
Kids are creatures of habit, and if you put juice on the table for every meal, they're going to start expecting it. To get your kids to drink more water, it needs to be the main beverage at meal time.
Remember, leading by example is one of the best things you can do when it comes to water consumption and building healthy habits.
Offer Sports Drinks Sparingly
Sports drinks are an excellent way to stay hydrated, but with sodium and sugar added, they aren't an ideal all-day option. That doesn't mean you can't offer them, it just means that you need to pull them out of the fridge at the right time.
After kids are done playing outside, tackling tough yard work, or even going for a long walk with the dog, sports drinks are an appropriate option. Limit portion sizes based on your child's age to avoid a sugar rush.
Some kids just don't like the taste of water. The good news is that most kids get past this at some point, and it's not something you'll need to worry about forever. For now though, mixing something into your child's water can keep them stay hydrated.
When it comes to mix-in options, natural juices are often the best bet. Test your proportions aiming to use as little of your mix-in beverage as possible. Over time, you can add a little less juice to each glass.
Getting your kids to drink water isn't a magic trick, and it's not something you need to force on them with lectures and facts about how important hydration is. Lead by example, make healthy beverage options available and keep water on the table at meal time.
Doing these few things will help you handle hydration like a pro!