Water is one of the most important parts of any diet. Our bodies need water for basic chemical reactions to take place. When we do not drink enough water, our bodies cannot function at their best state, thus, dehydration will sets in, so do the feelings of being tired and the ability to think clearly. It will be even worse when it is in hot summer months. That is why water is very important to our body’s cooling system.
Our bodies will heat up because of a hot day or because of physical activity, for instance our brain will alert the sweat glands to produce sweat. This will let our body to cool itself by the evaporation of sweat from our skin. If dehydrated, the body cannot sweat enough to stay cool. Other than this, water is essential in keeping our bowel movements regular and helps to prevent conditions such as urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
How Much Water Should Your Children Drink A Day?
The amount a child needs to drink can vary greatly as it will depend on their age and their gender as well as the weather and their daily physical activity. According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), they have come out with a guideline about how much fluid children needed per day. According to them, children aged between 4 to 13 should aim to drink approximately of 6 - 8 glasses of fluid a day, with younger children needing relatively smaller servings (e.g. 150ml for a 4-year-old and 250ml for an older child).
- Boys and girls aged between 4-8 years need 1.1 to 1.3 litres per day
- Girls aged between 9-13 years need 1.3 to 1.5 litres per day.
- Boys aged between 9-13 years need 1.5 to 1.7 litres per day.
Besides getting fluid from drinks, you and your children could get fluids from foods too. For example, fruit and vegetables in particular can have a high proportion of water such as cucumber and watermelon whereby they contains over 90% of water!
What Are The Best Drinks For Staying Hydrated?
Water is a really good choice for children to keep themselves well hydrated and it will be wise for parents to introduce water to their children as early as possible so that your children are able to get used to the plain taste. Other drinks such as milk and fruit juice can also provide fluid and other nutrients to your children. Pure unsweetened fruit juice and smoothies can count towards one of your daily contribution of Vitamin C. However, they are quite acidic and also contain natural free sugars, so they should be limited to no more than 150ml per day (ideally at mealtimes). Other acidic drinks such as fizzy drinks and squashes should also be limited or avoided altogether, even if they are sugar free. The acid can damage tooth enamel and sugary drinks can lead to dental decay, as well as an excess of calories. It is recommended that your children should not consume caffeine-containing energy drinks.
How Can I Encourage My Child To Drink More Water?
It will be a good idea for parents to act as a role model for their children, Parents could start by drinking water throughout the day, starting at breakfast time. As with fussy eating, if your child does not seem to like to drink water, it is best for you to stay calm. Below are some few tips that you can try to use it to encourage your children to drink more and to get used to water:
- Ensure your children have a drink before going to school, i.e. with breakfast, and before and during playtime.
- Offer drinks to your children regularly, especially when the weather is warm.
- Remember that there are many foods, such as fruit, vegetables and yogurt, milk on cereal, soup which have a high water content and can also contribute to fluid intake.
- When out and about, or at nursery or school, do pack a drink bottle filled with water for your children to bring along.
- Try and try again: repeated tastings may help children to develop a taste for water.
- Let your children to choose their own cup or water bottle and teach them how to fill up their own cup or water bottle themselves.
- Add some ice or a slice of lemon or cucumber to jazz it up a bit.
At Relax®, we are able to provide you and your children the water bottles that you and your kids desire. We are able to offer you and your children all kinds of different water bottle pattern/design, volume and even colour. Just relax and slowly choose the water bottles that suits you and your children.