How To Get Your Kids to Drink More Water

8 glasses of water a day says conventional wisdom, but how many of you actually drink that much? And for kids it is even harder when water needs to compete with the many other sugary drink options available. Drinking enough water throughout the day is important for long term health and happiness.

Water Jug

Photo: Malcolm Tredinnick on Flickr

But sometimes, it is like fighting an upward battle to get your child to drink enough water in a day. Here are a few of our tips to help increase your child’s water consumption.

Start small

It is easier to get your child to drink water from a young age. If they start when they’re young, it will become a normal habit to drink water on a regular basis.

Another way of starting small is when your child doesn’t like water or refuses to drink it. Start by mixing water into the juice. Start with a higher juice to water ratio and slowly lower it. Before you know it, your child will be drinking water.

Set an example

Kids want nothing more than to be like mom and dad and are willing to try anything that they see you enjoying. Lead by example by drinking lots of water in front of them.

Make it FUN!

Many colored straws thrown on top of each other

Photo: Horia Varlan on Flickr

Let your child personalize their cup with their favorite cartoon character or colors. You can jazz up the cups with interesting bendy straws, fancy umbrellas and ice cubes in different shapes. You can even freeze pieces of fruit into the ice cubes for a different appearance and a slight flavour when it melts. If your child likes to work towards goals, you can keep a chart on the fridge to track how much water they’ve consumed.

Make it available

Similar to how many recommend to keep a cup of water available at your desk at work, the same logic applies to your kids. If water is easily accessible to them, the more likely they are to drink it. You can have water in a covered cup or water bottle within easy reach or if they’re a little bit older, having a jug where they can pour their own. If your fridge comes with a built in water dispenser, teach your little one how to use it so they can get their own water. Your child will be so proud that they are able to serve themselves. When you’re out of the house or on the go, always have water bottle of water available.

Flavor it

Most children (and adults too) dislike water because of its lack of flavor. You can remedy this by cutting various fruits and vegetables into it. What results is a subtle flavor without the addition of artificial flavors or sugars. It can be as simple as the lemon and cucumber waters that you get at restaurants and spas, or you can dress them up with herbs and exotic fruits. If you’re using fruit, the best results are when they’re fresh and in season. The Yummy Life has put together a great guide to mixing delicious flavored waters.

Eliminate other options

And if all else fails, remove other liquids like juice and pop from the house. This is the hardest way to go, but by eliminating other drink options, your child has no choice but to drink water when thirsty.

What are your tricks to get your child to drink more water?

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