Worried about your kid’s low water intake?
Is dehydration causing infections and low activity level in your kid?
Out of tricks to make your little one drink water in this hot summer?
Here are the effective tips to keep kids hydrated this summer.
Everyone knows the importance of staying hydrated. Fluid in the body helps to flush out toxins and thus builds the immunity and keeps the child fit and fine. So a dehydrated person is more prone to diseases and in worst cases dehydration can be life threatening too.
How much water does your child need?
The amount of water a person needs depends on the age, weight, physical activity and health condition of the person plus the climate of the region.
The fluid intake of your child includes plain water, water content in fruits and veggies and also water content in juices, soups and other beverages.
On an average we can say that children between the age of 7 months to 1 year need approximately 3 cups of water.
Children between 1 to 3 years require approximately 4 cups of water.
Four to eight years need 5 cups of water and nine to 13 year old needs 7 cups of water and above 13 year old need eight to ten cups of water.
Infants below 6 months of age require only breast milk to keep themselves hydrated as breast milk is mainly water.
If your child is sick, having diarrhea or vomiting, then he/she will require more water ro recover fast and to maintain the lost fluids.
Also kids who are doing active physical activities like dance or sports or games should have more water.
Also when it is summer your water loss will be high so water intake should also be high.
You don’t have to count every cup of fluid your kid takes or break your head calculating the water content in the solid foods or beverages your kids take. Instead the best way to know that your kid’s water intake is enough is to see if they are peeing enough and their pee color is very pale yellow or clear.
How to keep kids hydrated with these 16 tips:
My LO is the one who refuse to drink water. She used to catch a cold frequently and the doctor told us that less fluids in the body is also one of the reasons for the frequent infections.
You can also read how much water your baby should have per day to stay healthy.
Kids are easily prone to dehydration especially during summer as it is vacation time and a lot of time is spend outdoors in physical activities.
So with the onset of summer I decided to take things in my hand( yes I am the boss if not always) and make my LO drink enough fluids to reduce the risks of dehydration.
I used a couple of tricks from the below list to trick my child to drink more fluids and stay hydrated.
#1. Set an example
I realized that all of us in the family drank less water in general. So we decided to add more fliuds into our own diet and set an example.
Drink water in front of your child. After you finish the glass express how good you feel and also tell them that your thirst is quenched.
Remember kids are very observant. So showing them that you drink water frequently works better than an hour long lecture on the importance of drinking water.
#2. Juices are liquids too
To stay hydrated, its not just water, even juices work. So we started giving her fresh fruit juices daily and she liked those.
But remember not to replace your kid’s water intake with juices. Plain water is the best to keep fluid levels high. So limit juices. Too much of juice can also lead to loose motion and lost appetite.
#3. Natural or home made drinks
Coconut water, lemon juice or butter milk are also good hydrating drinks. It helps maintain the body temperature too. So the next time you step out of the house, ensure you sip on a nariyal pani. Your little one will automatically follow suit.
As in case of juices, for these drinks also, don’t replace it for water. Water is best. You can have a glass of butter milk or coconut water once in a day.
#4. Flavored water
Most of the time kids refuse to drink water due to the bland taste of water.
Add a pinch of dry ginger, jeera, cardamom, dahashamani/karingali or pathimugam to the water when you boil it. Apart from giving a good flavor and color to water, these are also good for your health.
You can also make flavored water by adding lemon, strawberry, kiwi or cucumber slices to your plain water. You can also add crushed mint leaves or basil leaves too.
Present this mixture in an attractive transparent glass. The flavor from the fruit slices and the attractive presentation will tempt kids to finish their glass and ask for more.
Don’t forget to encourage them to eat the fruit slice after they finish the water.
Go back to your childhood. Remember the hot summers spend licking on popsicle sticks? Yes popsicles are a treat in summers.
Make yummy popsicles for your little one. These frozen treats will never be turned down by your kid. If you make homemade popsicles it is fluid intake plus goodness of fruits.
Read to know the easy to make homemade popsicle recipes.
#6. Eat your water!!
When it is summer include fruits and vegetables with high water content in your kid’s diet. Watermelon, strawberries, baby carrot, grape fruit, cantalopue, tomatoes, spinach, oranges are all edibles with more than 80% water content in them.
#7. Temperature matters
The temperature of the water can also be a factor for some of the fussy “drinkers”!!!
Think of this situation. You just entered your house after spending an active day under scorching sun. What will you prefer?
A cup of hot beverage? Na.. most of us will run to the refrigerator to grasp a bottle of cold water. Same applies in case of kids.
Yes, when it comes to toddlers and kids, even the temperature of the water/fluid offered can decide on how much they will drink.
Most of the kids will prefer cool water, while some will prefer water at room temperature and others prefer lukewarm water.
Water at room temperature or cool water kept in an earthen pot is best. Luke warm water is also good.
So adjust the water temperature according to your kid’s preference. Having said that don’t encourage drinking of extremely cold water.
#8. Make it accessible
Keep water at a place where your child has easy access to.
We kept filled water bottles in bedrooms, living room and dining hall and whenever we crossed the room, we made it a habit to pick up and have a sip.
Seeing us do this, my LO who thought this was some kind of a game ,started taking a sip as well.
#9. Fancy straws
One thing that worked like magic on my LO were these fancy straws. Routine is boring for anyone. So invest in some fancy straws ( preferable with some cartoon characters on them). You can buy a plastic straw which can be washed and reused.
#10. Attractive sippers or cups
Children tend to like things that are attractive and different. So the regular glass can be replaced with a sipper or a fancy Cup.You can also buy a Sipper similar to what you use. The ‘Same Same’ game works with toddlers.
#11. Keep it handy
Children when they are playing or busy in activity will tend to drink more water. Ensure that you always have a water bottle handy while you are out in a park or simply on a drive.
#12. Make it a game
Anything converted to a game is a hit with the kids. So you and your little one can enter a race to finish a glass of water. Of course you lose the game 😛
#13. A sip here and a sip there
Some kids are reluctant to finish the glass of water or any drink offered. They find it very hard to finish a whole glass of liquid then and there. So what to do? Encourage and remind such kids to frequently sip water throughout the day.
The idea is to increase the intake of water. So a sip here and there also matters.
#14. Yellow is bad!!
As said earlier your pee color is the basic indication of how hydrated you are. If it is light yellow or yellow in color it says your body require more water. A well hydrated body will pass only very pale yellow or clear urine.
One thing one of my friends has taught her 2.8 year old son is that if your pee is yellow in color it is bad and if its clear it is good. So every time the child pees she looks at the pee color and makes him say “yellow is bad and clear is good”.
If pee is yellow you loose and have to dink more water to remove the “bad”. And this trick works. So whenever the urine color is yellow her preschooler runs to drink a glass of water. This game can work with you too.
#15. Play under the shade
Too much physical activities under the sun can increase sweating and there by more water loss from body.
When outdoors, as far as possible, encourage your kids to play in shaded areas. Avoid outdoors especially between 12 noon and 3 pm as it will be very much hot during these times.
#16. Don’t wait till the child is thirsty
Thirst is a sign that your body is mildly dehydrated. So don’t wait for your kid to become thirsty.
Kids often ignore thirst when they are busy playing. Often they will ask for water when they are too much thirsty or when they start feeling tired and dizzy.
So as a parent don’t wait for your kid to ask for water. Instead give water before they get thirsty. Encourage them to take “water breaks” at every 20 minutes of their playtime, especially if they are playing outdoors. Let them sip their favorite drinks or plain water during this water breaks.
- For infants below 6 months breast milk is enough to stay hydrated. No need to give water, instead increase your breastfeeds during summer.
- Water is the best drink to hydrate the body. So encourage giving more water and at the same time include water rich fruits and veggies.
- Popsicles, juices and home made drinks should be given less. These are just ways to add more water in your diet. But it is not recommended to replace plain water with these drinks.
- Say no to fizzy drinks, coffee and tea. These are the worst thirst quenchers for kids.
- Don’t over do it. More water intake than that is required can also lead to complications. It can decrease the appetite and also puts overload on your kidney.
- Don’t offer water before main meals. It can lead to lesser solid intake in kids. Offer water after meals.
- Always give less to no sugary drinks for kids
- Know the signs of dehydration and consult a doctor when you think the dehydration is too much
From the above list I used a combination of tips for staying hydrated and I can notice that there is definitely an increase in my LO’s water intake.
Keep these tips in mind to keep kids hydrated and healthy too.
What tricks and tips do you use to make your kid’s drink more water?
What is your kid’s favorite summer drink?
Does he prefer homemade drinks to plain water?