What are your kids drinking?
We all need water in order for our body to function properly whether adult or child. We get lots of water for our body through the food we eat, but we also must drink it to actually stay hydrated.
Sometimes getting children to drink plain water can be a challenge. Most children prefer sports and energy drinks, soda, or Kool-Aid instead of plain water. Adults set the examples their children follow in their lives, so if we want our children to drink sufficient water, we need to set the example. Parents that don’t particularly like veggies or fruits most likely will find that their children also don’t care for those foods. However, when parents choose plain water for themselves and for their children, it can vastly improve the overall health for both of them.
Dr. Holly Benjamin, a pediatric sports medicine specialist at the University of Chicago, says “Kids will drink a Gatorade after school, they will drink a Gatorade at lunch and they will drink it with dinner.” Since sugar is the primary ingredient in these drinks, all that sugar can contribute to obesity and tooth decay. We don’t need anything else that will lead to more obesity and dental problems for our children. Dr. Benjamin does think there is a place for Gatorade and other sports drinks in a healthy child’s diet, but only if they are getting lots of exercise. This is because athletes of all ages do need to replenish sugar, sodium, and potassium which are all found in these drinks. However water should be the main drink of choice.
Helping our children make healthier choices is entirely possible. We just need a few tricks up our sleeve as parents and we can pull it off. One of the main reasons why children might not choose water first may be the taste of it or the lack of taste to be more precise. Perhaps one of the following ideas will help make water more fun.
- Try flavoring the water a bit with slices of oranges or lemons.
- Freeze a favorite juice or Kool-Aid in ice cube trays and using the flavored ice in a glass of water makes a fun colorful drink in a clear glass.
- Buy cheap but reusable water bottles and get a different color for each child. Even letting your child choose one can help. Every morning fill the bottles with cold water and let the kids think it’s great to have their own sports bottle to drink out of. Having their own will curb the fighting but will also let you know how much water each child is drinking.
- Make your own popsicles, this lets the parent decide how much juice, sugar and water is in each one. Vitamin water makes a great Popsicle.
- Have a water drinking contest when the kids are hot and have been playing outside. Fill up glasses with cold water, set a timer and see who can drink the most water the fastest.
There are many more great ideas on how to make water more appealing to everyone including children. The health of our children needs to be a top priority and water is a large part of that. If the adults in the household are having trouble drinking water as well, perhaps it’s time to do some research into home water treatment systems. There are several systems on the market today that will fit any budget and need. These systems can provide water that is not only the safest water to drink but also can change the taste of the water making it a drink even the adults will choose first. Our body needs water every day, we need to do what it takes to make a glass of water our favorite part of the day. Drink to your health and make it a glass of great tasting healthy water.
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