Importance of water and how to get your children drink it.
Importance of water and how to get your children drink it.
Water is more important than food as our body is made primarily of water, about 70 percent of it. It determines more than half of our body weight. Water is the primary element of all the fluids that flow in our body, even other cells like muscles & bones have a lot of water in them. It carries digestive enzymes around your digestive system. It is in the fluids that keep the joints moving. Water itself contains no energy, but is essential to regulate body temperature and metabolize & digest food. Water facilitates our body to perform all of its functions and it is constantly lost in respiration, urination, sweating, crying etc. Drinking water replaces the lost fluids and does not add calories to our diets. All living beings need water to survive; water is the necessity of life.
Drinking ample amount of water is very important for children as they have higher water requirements than adults. Children need to drink a lot of water at least 6-8 cups daily, to keep their body temperature regulated. Make your children drink plain and clean water to hydrate them, water that is free from sugar and other additives.
Drinking water and brain function are integrally linked. Staying hydrated helps in keeping your children’s mind sharp, as brain depend on proper hydration to function properly. Among other things, brain cells require water, and when children are dehydrated, their brain cells loose water and its efficiency to perform with it. Years of research have proved that dehydration can cause children loose their attention span. Dehydration damages children’s short-term memory and simultaneously stimulating long-term memory. For example, your children will forget why they went to their room, because on the way to the room their brain recalled some past memory of a family trip.
Parents should make sure that their children are always drinking clean and pure water, as poor quality of water is very harmful for young children. Young children are more vulnerable to the effects of contaminated water. Contaminated water can cause your child asthma, diarrhea, dehydration, and many other life-threatening diseases. Contaminated water contains developmental neurotoxins, or DNTs. These are chemicals, which affect the development of brain in childhood. It has long-term consequences that affect the physical and mental development of your children.
How to get your children drinking water
It can be challenging to get your child to drink enough water because water is tasteless and most children prefer the sweet taste of juice, chocolate milk or soda over it. We have narrowed down few steps that will help you to make your children run towards water every time they are thirsty.
Keep the water handy
Don’t wait for your children to ask for a glass of water neither force them to drink at your convenience. Fill a jug and keep it in the kitchen or dining area, within their reach. Provide your children with their own special drinking cup. Now whenever they ask for water, tell them to help themselves and to do the same whenever they are thirsty. Get your children reusable water bottles, which they can keep with them while playing outside.
Lead by example
Choose water instead of other beverages when eating out or home. Start drinking water more in front or your children display satisfaction on your face while doing it, and they will follow.
Set a goal
Make a chart to count the number of glasses of water your children drinks. Show your children the chart and hang it on the fridge. If they reach their goal, celebrate. You can also link this goal to the family chip system and reward them according to it.
Make your child read about it.
Get some books that have colorful illustrations explaining the importance of drinking water. When children visualize the importance of drinking water with colorful and entertaining stories, they are more likely to drink it.
Add some taste to it
Children usually don’t like water because it is tasteless. Add some berries, cucumber, lime or lemon slices to make it taste different. You can use mint or ginger to add flavor. Do not give artificially flavored drinks or drinks that have additives like preservative. You can also freeze fruit’s pieces and use them as ice cubes.
Make water-drinking fun
Get few fancy silly-straws for your children to drink water. Children love to drink from straw. Buy a bottle, which have your child’s favorite cartoon character on it.
Keep limited options
Don’t keep soda and other such drinks available for your children. Just keep milk and water, and when children are thirsty after playtime, they are likely to drink water.
Show your children how nature needs water.
Teach children the importance of water by giving them a live example of nature. Get two identical plants and sow them in two different pots. Place them together in ample amount of sunlight; tell your child to water only one of the plants and leave another. Write ‘water’ & ‘no water’ on the pots to make it easy for child to identify. Be there when your child water the plant. After few days, the plant that doesn’t get any water will droop and die. Let your child observe this experiment closely. Teach them that without water any living beings will face the same fate, that what happened to the plant can happen to him/her too.
Make all the above changes slowly and gradually, so that your children can accept the change, do not initiate all the steps at once. After you start following the above steps, start keeping the track of your children’s pee. If it is dark, they need to drink more water & if it is light, your plan is working.
“You’re right to be concerned about your children’s water intake. It is indeed the best drink you can give your child.”