Water is the world's most important resource, and it keeps our bodies functioning properly every day. This makes ample water consumption an extremely important task.
Unfortunately for parents, water is usually seen as a pretty dull drink in the eyes of a child. How do you get kids to drink water? And make sure they're drinking enough of it? You can help keep your kids healthy and hydrated with these tips.
Simple Ideas to Encourage Your Kids to Drink Water
If you want to get kids to drink more water, you can make this mundane refreshment more desirable. Here are some practical ideas for how to get your kids to drink water that you can both feel good about.
Give Them the Spa Experience
Water is much more tempting to drink when it looks extra special. Spas are notorious for adding cucumber and lemon to their water to help revitalize their clients' skin. It is also makes for a deliciously refreshing drink! Why not do the same for your kids?
Make fancy water every morning in a large pitcher and then serve this delightful drink throughout the day. Best of all, you can get creative with your fruity embellishments. Here are some great options to try:
- Cucumber and lemon
- Strawberry, lemon, and basil
- Grapefruit and rosemary
- Mint and lime
- Oranges and blueberries
- Grapefruit, pomegranate, and mint
Don't be afraid to experiment with your own mixtures as well. Did we mention that this is also a great way to get your kids to eat more colorful fruits and veggies in their diet? All of these fruits and vegetables are rich with water and kids can eat them up with their water.
A few tips for using infused water to encourage your kids to stay hydrated:
- Keep in mind that this invigorating infusion only lasts about a day, so make sure they finish it up before bedtime.
- For the best results, give the flavors at least 30 minutes to seep into the water.
- Don't forget to wash the fruits, vegetables, and herbs before you toss them in the pitcher.
If you're serving the water to toddlers and preschool-aged kids, make sure that the fruits and vegetables are cut to an appropriate size to avoid an accidental choking incident.
Give Water Some Pigment and Pizzazz
Everything is better with a splash of color! If you're not a family who usually has fresh fruit on hand or if you simply don't have the time to prepare infused water daily, consider freezing these fruits and herbs into ice cubes.
You can also add a dash of food coloring to make it extra fun! With each glass of water, let your kids pick out two or three cubes to garnish their drink.
Speaking of dressing up a drink, there's a reason tropical beverages are so popular! Grab some umbrella and palm tree drink sticks to add to their glass. These little touches can make drinking water a lot more inviting.
This is best suited for older kids, as the ice cubes can be a choking risk for kids ages four and under.
Upgrade Their Water Bottles and Cups
Who wants to drink a boring beverage out of a commonplace container? Upgrade your kid's drinkware to make the experience more exciting! We love these ideas:
- Find plastic cups and containers that showcase a rainbow of colors, their favorite characters, and even some sparkles.
- Parents can also invest in vinyl stickers that feature their kid's names to put on their very own bottle. Add in some nifty bendy straws and you are set! (Just avoid metal straws with small kids. These can be a hazard if they are running around with their drinks.)
- If your kids like to drink cold water, a fun insulated water bottle that keeps it cold might encourage them to drink more. Bonus if it has their favorite characters!
Simulate the Sensation of Soda
It's colorless, tasteless, and textureless; it's no wonder kids hate drinking water. Why not spice things up and add some bubbles to the mix? A SodaStream Sparkling Water Maker can a great investment for families who are trying to wean their kids off of soda.
This makes it easy to add in those tingly little bubbles and even a few flavors. In fact, they even make soda beverage mixes, which typically have less sugar than store-bought sodas and don't contain aspartame either.
Incorporate Engaging Bottle-Based Crafts & Experiments
Bowling pins, sensory jars, and candy-filled apples for their favorite teacher - these are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to fun water bottle crafts that your kids can enjoy! If you need to get your kids motivated to drink more water, then find amusing activities that require the bottles.
This gives them a wonderful incentive to drink this healthy beverage, and it aids in recycling. Some other water bottle crafts to try include:
- Musical instruments
- Jet pack for your little astronaut
- Piggy bank
- Compost Bin
You can also set up entertaining science experiments using empty plastic bottles. Create fireworks in a bottle, build a bottle rocket, craft a rain gauge, and even construct a model lung! These can serve as exciting learning opportunities that motivate your kids to empty the bottles they need to complete the projects.
Limit the Options in the House
Out of sight, out of mind, as they always say! If your child can see other, more enticing options, then they're probably always going to put up a fight when it comes to drinking water. If you want your kids to get on a better beverage path, then be a good role model and join them on this quest. If you can't live without your soda, then designate this as a reward for drinking a certain amount of water.
Make Smoothies With Water-Rich Foods
Sometimes we all need a change of pace. That doesn't mean that you should give up on your goals! Watermelons, berries, citrus fruits, cucumbers, carrots, and lettuce are all brimming with water. Yogurt and milk are also surprisingly hydrating options. Grab the contents of your crisper drawer, some ice cubes and either milk or water, and make some killer smoothies to quench their thirst.
Make a large batch of smoothies and use the excess to make healthy frozen treats! Popsicles are always a fan favorite with kids and this water-based snack can serve as a sneaky way to help with these hydration efforts.
Let Them Serve Themselves
For the families with a water maker in their fridge, a free standing water dispenser, or a SodaStream, teach your kids to help themselves. Giving your toddlers and preschool-aged kids a little freedom to fill up their own glass can get them excited about the idea of drinking water more often.
Encourage Kids to Set Water Goals
Just because you have a kid that's old enough to know they should drink more water doesn't mean they'll always do it. Encourage elementary ages, pre-teens, and even teens to get enough water and keep their bodies healthy by setting goals an keeping track of water consumption. For example:
- Use a whiteboard to keep track of daily or weekly water consumption. If kids meet their the goal for a set time period, try a reward like a cool water bottle or a fun activity.
- If your kids are old enough to have a phone or device, kid-friendly water apps like Plant Nanny, Tummy Fish, or for teens something like Waterllama, can help make it more fun to set and reach water goals.
- Have them set water goals and challenge their friends, siblings, or even their parents!
Talk About the Importance of Water
Why does drinking water matter? What happens when we don't drink enough? When should we drink more water than normal? How much water should we be drinking? If your kids don't know the answers to these questions, then they're likely not going to see the importance of the task. Talk to your kids about water consumption and the benefits it can have on their health.
Color matters when it comes to your pee. When teaching your kids about staying hydrated, make sure they know that the lighter their urine is, the better off they will be! This is an easy way to help them gauge if they need to gulp down a bit more. The Cleveland Clinic has a color guide to show what is the most ideal tint to look for when kids tinkle.
How Much Water Should Kids Drink?
How much water a person needs to drink will depend on their age and size. For those ages five and under, milk and water should be the main liquids being consumed. Here are the amounts that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends:
|Age||Amount of Water per Day|
|6 months - 1 year||4 - 8 ounces|
|1 year - 2 years||8 - 32 ounces|
|3 years - 5 years||8 - 40 ounces|
What about older kids? An easy rule of thumb is that your child needs approximately the same number of ounces of water as the number of pounds they weigh. So, let's say they weigh 35 pounds. Aim for 35 ounces per day. Remember that this is the ideal amount, so if you get close, you are doing a great job!
Make Drinking Water Something to Strive For Each Day
Admit it - you probably don't drink enough water, either. Make the goal of having your kids drink more water a family initiative! A scoreboard can create some competition, which is always a great form of motivation. Every day someone reaches their water goals, they get a star. After a month, the winner gets to pick a fun activity for the family to do. This will not only make the process easier, but it can also make it fun for everyone. No matter how you do it, getting your family to increase their water take is a challenge where everyone wins.