Depending on your child’s age, size, and level of activity, you should adjust how much water they need. Before we try and get to scientific however, it is a simple case of making sure they have access to water if they are thirsty. Children can be confuse being firsty with hunger. If they are eating too much, suggesting they have a glass of water before a snack may help them regulate their own eating. Water is by far the best liquid for thirst. The level of sport that a child needs to be doing to justify sugary sports drinks is quite high and rarely reached except by elite sports people. Also measuring the volume of water drank can be misleading. Some people sweat more than others, those who eat more fruit and vegetables will drink list due to the liquid content of their food. The guide amount is similar across all countries however, four to six glasses of water for children under the age of eight and six to eight glasses if older. The following are tips on how to keep your active child hydrated;
- Teach them the early signs of dehydration. Headaches, straw colored urine and lethargy.
- Habit of finishing their glass of water with each meal in the same way that you might make them finish their vegetables.
- Avoid caffeinated or high sugar containing beverages since they make children urinate more frequently, which accelerates the process of dehydration. Processed drinks should be saved for special occasions as even those labelled healthy often contain a high number of calories and chemicals.
- Put a water bottle in their bag. Lack of access to water is one of the main reasons why children don’t drink. When they pack their bag make sure that their is one in their but try not to make it so obsessive that they feel the need to go everywhere with it. They can be distracting in lessons and mean that the child needs to go to the toilet.
- If your youngster doesn’t like the taste of water, try flavouring it with low calorie pieces like lemon or cucumber rather than squash.
- Encourage your youngster to consume fruits and vegetables in addition to water because they often have high water content. As a snack option, include watermelon, strawberries, broccoli, celery, cucumbers, and other wilting fruits and vegetables.
It would be fair to say that a few years ago we became obsessed with drinking lots of water. It is very true that with coffee and alcohol most adults are dehydrated during the day. However, for children, it is worth installing the habits above and making sure they recognize the signs of being thirsty.
We have a further article here about making sure that your child has a healthy relationship with food.