You fill your water bottle before each workout because you know proper hydration is linked to exercise, focus and energy. These are three important reasons to keep your kids hydrated, as well.
Whether your children like drinking water or not, there are plenty of ways you can help them get their daily intake.
Know What They Need
One of the most important hydration tips is to know how much water your child needs. Active kids of all ages have different water requirements. Many experts suggest the following for proper hydration:
- Girls and boys, ages 1-3: 5.5 cups
- Girls and boys, ages 4-8: 6 to 8 cups
- Girls, ages 9-13: 8.5 cups
- Boys, ages 9-13: 10 cups
While these are the daily requirements, active kids should be hydrating frequently during exercise. Make sure they drink one-half to 2 cups of water every 20 minutes while biking, hiking, or running around outside.
Be a Good Role Model
Your kids want to be just like you, so if you drink water, they may want to as well. Make it obvious that you love drinking water, and perhaps they'll model your behavior.
Diversify The Hydration Process
Most kids cringe at the thought of guzzling a whole bottle of water. Luckily, there are a variety of ways active kids can stay hydrated, and enjoy doing it. Keep these alternative hydration tips in mind if your little one is less than thrilled about H2O.
- Feed them water-rich foods: Water rich foods count toward their daily intake, and can be key to keeping your active kids hydrated. Some options include grape tomatoes, celery, lettuce, watermelon, cucumbers, strawberries and peaches.
- Make watered down juice: Instead of going straight for water, add some flavor. Water down a bottle of 100 percent fruit juice or put frozen fruit in the water instead of ice cubes. This cools it down and adds pizazz.
Get Them Excited About Water
Ultimately, water is the best source of hydration, but getting kids excited about drinking it can be difficult. With a few simple tricks they'll be begging to drink more.
- Let them hold the water bottle: If you're hiking or running around, let your child hold the water. When you tell them they can drink as much of it as they want, they're likely to feel more in control and drink it up.
- Use a silly straw: The funniest things get kids excited, and this is one of them. The rule: they can only use the silly straw when they're drinking water. See how much they want to drink after that.
- Let them pick the bottle: Take your active kids to the store and let them pick out their water bottle. Tell them it's only for water, but they can pick whatever one they want. If their favorite cup is the water cup, they'll drink out of it all day.
Recognize the Signs of Dehydration
While these hydration tips should be enough to keep your little one sipping on water, it's important that you're able to recognize the signs of dehydration, as well. Some early warnings include:
- Dry mouth
Active kids need plenty of water to stay energized and focused. Use these five hydration tips to keep your children healthy and happy all day long.