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Parents' Guide To Getting Children To Drink More Water

Anne Kolker • MS, Registered Dietitian • Jul 11, 2008
Children should be encouraged to drink water in between meals, especially if your child is active or if it is a hot day.
If you or your child is thirsty, this is a mild sign of dehydration.  The body needs water in order to function properly.  Water is the best beverage your child could drink to keep their body well hydrated and growing healthy.  
With so many sugary beverages now available, many children will want those drinks instead of water.  
So what is a parent to do?

Tips For Promoting Healthy Hydration With Water

  • Start your young kids off right when they are little. Avoid offering children soda and punch.
  • Limit juice but do offer two cups a day of non-fat or 1% milk. It’s great for children older than two to provide calcium and vitamin D (whole milk is fine from ages 1 to 2).
  • Do offer water through out the day
  • Try a keeping cold pitcher in the frig - some children only like very cold water.
  • Add slices of lemon or squeeze a little bit of fresh orange juice to add some flavor.
  • Have the kids make a popsicle using little fruit juice and mainly water. 
  • Have a water drinking contest and have each family member put a star by their name if they drink one 8-ounce glass of water.  Use our family water tracking chart!
  • Make water fun for kids by giving them water bottles that are brightly colored.  Let them pick their favorite color.
  • There are flavored water or club soda with zero calories that are better options to sugary drinks.
  • Avoid having sugary drinks in the house or in sight to reduce the temptation.
Most of all, be a role model.  Adults need at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water for good hydration too.  










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Written by Anne KolkerWritten on Jul 11, 2008Last updated on Jun 15, 2015




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