Drinking plenty of water is, of course, essential for a heathy way of life. Which is why it's so important to make a conscious effort to consume your daily dose. But we know how challenging managing our own daily water goal can be. Should tracking your kids' water intake be another thing on your endless list of daily tasks? Unfortunately, yes… As if parents don't have enough to worry about. A recent study highlighted why it's so important to be deliberate about making sure your kids get the right amount of water – not, fun substitutes – every day.
Why You Should Actively Manage Your Child's Water Intake
The study, published in JAMA Pediatrics, found that, on a given day, 1 out of 5 children and young adults (20.3%), do not drink any plain water. What do they drink?
“Those kids that did not consume any plain water (from tap or bottled water) consumed almost twice as many calories and percent of total calories from sugar-sweetened beverages than those that consumed water,” says Dr. Asher Rosinger, the study's author.
Notably, Rosinger cited the fact that, in some parts of the US, people do not trust the water that comes out of their tap due to contamination or other fears. We all know the typical effects of dehydration on the body in the short term – fatigue, sluggishness, headaches. In a recent post, we also talked about how hydration can impact your child's educational outcomes.
Plus, chronic dehydration can have long terms effect on the kidneys, liver and brain. And, those extra calories from heavier sugar consumption can easily lead to unhealthy eating habits and obesity concerns. On top of all that, many school districts have disabled public water fountains due to COVID, reducing access to water during school even further.
Turns out there are many good reasons to get serious about a daily water plan for the tykes.
How To Keep Your Kids Well Hydrated In School
Ok, we get that it's important. But, getting kids to drink water is a well-known parenting problem. So, what's the trick, right?
Admittedly, there are no magic solutions. But, a thoughtful and consistent approach can help:
- Have a talk. Talk to your kids about why it's important to drink water and stay hydrated. Introduce them to the pee color test. Then set a daily goal and help them adopt strategies to meet it.
- Walk the walk. Kids are perceptive – they'll respond according to the tone you set. And they'll know if you don't mean business. So, be sure to model good water drinking behavior. Good habits start and are reinforced at home.
- Make sure your water is filtered and purified. Water just tastes better when it's free of extraneous particles, sediments and the other stuff that shouldn't be in there. And, you know kids won't drink anything unless it tastes good.
- Make a game of it. Games are key and have been especially so since your kids have been spending a lot more time at home. Make school video chats fun – have your kids drink every time someone forgets to unmute (or, mute). Give a sticker for every cup they drink, and have your kids apply them to their water goal chart. Create a reward for reaching their daily goal. Be creative and make it fun.
- Cool it up. Let your kids pick their water bottle. Have them decorate it any way they like.
- Use an app. Give your teen a reason to do something productive with that fifth appendage –other than practicing speed thumb typing. There are a number of free apps available. Drink Water Reminder has a 4.7 stars rating with Android users. Aqualert: Water Tracker Daily get 4.6 stars from the iPhone crowd.
Teach Your Kids the Primo Lifestyle
Adding a Primo water dispenser to your home helps makes hydration a more visible process in your household, and makes modeling proper water habits easier. And, if you're not always sure about what's coming out of your tap, Primo Water is an excellent way of assuring a healthy and clean water supply. Learn more about our reverse-osmosis purification process.