The human body is made up of as much as 70% water, but is your daily beverage intake the same? Without an adequate supply of water our bodies cannot perform normal and necessary functions including removing toxins and carrying nutrients and oxygen to our cells.
Adequate consumption of water is necessary to replace what is lost throughout the day from breathing, sweating and even digestion. How much water does your child need? Children between the ages of 4 and 8 years need about 1.3 liters (43 ounces or 5 ½ cups) of water daily*.
If your child is very active or you live in a hot climate, the need for water is greater. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that a study conducted between 2005 and 2006 found that as few as 10% of girls and 15% of boys were drinking the recommended amount of water each day. The study also concluded that high-sugar beverages were consumed more than water, especially at meal time. How can you get more water in your child’s diet?
1. Make it fun! Allow your child to choose a water bottle or special cup that makes drinking convenient and fun. Check out our new Kid’s Water Bottle here.
2. Make it available! Take water bottles with you on the go to avoid purchasing high-calorie beverages while out. On school days, clip a water bottle to your child’s lunchbox.
3. Flavor it! Prepare frozen fruit, herb or cucumber ice cubes to add a hint of flavor without adding sugar or calories. Try this refreshing recipe.
5. Water served here! Avoid purchasing other beverages for home consumption. Instead, keep chilled water available and ready to drink in the refrigerator.
6. Eat fruits and veggies! Make sure your children are getting the appropriate amount of fruits and vegetables each day, including those rich in water. Watermelon is 92% water by weight and a tomato is 95% water. Download our free Portion Size Tip Sheet to find out the appropriate servings for your child.
7. Eat soup! Broth-based soups with plenty of veggies will help to increase your water intake.
8. Drink herbal tea! Avoid caffeine, but benefit from the properties of herbs. To help increase water intake, try a cup of hot herbal tea. It’s nice iced too!
10. Be consistent! Habits, healthy or not, don’t happen overnight. Be consistent when making choices for yourself and your children and in time everyone will be on board without a thought. When do you start your child drinking water? Water will help your baby with the digestion of solids foods. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends offering 4-8 ounces of water each day when your baby starts eating protein, typically at 6-8 months old.
*Institute of Medicine of the National Academies Daily Reference Intake (DRIs) Table
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