Our children need to drink water as much, or perhaps even more than we do if they are very active. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get them to do it, but it’s a really important part of their wellbeing.
So, here is the twist I’d like you to consider. Instead of asking or telling them to drink water, why not EDUCATE them on why they should drink water?
Keep your discussion to a level that they can understand and use words that are suitable to their age, but inform them about why it’s necessary for us to keep up the fluids going into our bodies.
Here are a few pointers to share with them:
- You lose water through the day, even in the winter when it’s colder. It leaves your body through your breath, sweat and when you go to the toilet. This needs to be replaced by the water you drink.
- Our bodies need water to break down our food, it starts with the saliva in our mouths, goes on to our digestion to help take in vitamins, minerals and all the good things food gives us. It’s also needed at the other end of digestion to help us poop (kids love a good potty reference, use this to your advantage!)
- Water helps keep our joints moving, not drinking enough water can leave us feeling weak and uncomfortable.
- Not having enough to drink will eventually make us dehydrated, when we get into this state we can feel tired, dizzy, get headaches, have dry skin, lips and eyes, and our pee can smell strongly.
Getting kids into a routine with drinking water can make it easier for them (and you) to remember to do it. Serve water with all meals and snacks, don’t wait for them to ask. When you pick up from school remind them to have a drink from their bottles, if they are playing outside or doing sports, give them a bottle to take with them.
The simple act of getting them to drink can make them feel so good, and as I say with my kids, if in doubt, just add water. It doesn’t matter if they are drinking it, shower or bathing in it or having fun at the pool or in the sea, water can make everything better.