Thanks to Nestlé® Pure Life® for sponsoring this conversation.
Now that school is back in session, I can honestly say that we had a great summer. My family traveled, built a tree house in the backyard, visited the pool quite a bit, played outside and participated in summer sports. With athletics being a big part of our routine, the kids played tennis, football and soccer and loved it. It was all recreational play so we didn’t overdo it with too many practices.
It’s been a super hot summer in North Carolina and it doesn’t seem to be letting up just quite yet. We’ve hit the 100 degree mark more days than I care to count which means the summer sports were not as comfortable as they could have been. Turf fields for football and tennis courts heat up quickly and the dusty soccer fields weren’t much better. The didn’t complain too much about the heat but sometimes it can get to them. And if we aren’t careful, the heat can be very dangerous if the kids don’t stay hydrated.
That’s why I made it my mission this summer to keep them as hydrated as possible. Sure, I do this all year long as well, but I really had to pay attention in the southern heat. I also plan to continue my hydration vigilance going into the school year because things get busy, and the fact of the matter is, kids in the US don’t drink as much water as they should.
According to a survey recently conducted by Nestlé® Pure Life®*, between water, milk, juice, and soda, moms say water make up 67% of their daily beverage intake, but it makes up only 48% of their kids. Water is one of the biggest “healthy habit” struggles moms have with their kids (38%), even more than struggles like “eat your fruit” (29%), “get enough exercise (23%), “eat your breakfast” (19%), and “drink your milk” (18%).
Luckily, my kids’ favorite go-to beverage is water, which was by design from when they were little. I didn’t let them have ANY soda and limited juices so they were left with milk or water as a choice of drink. Good thing that they like both!
It’s never a problem for them to choose water when they are thirsty but the challenge is for them to realize how often they need to drink to stay hydrated. They get busy and just forget. There are so many health benefits of drinking more water for kids such as keeping them hydrated, regulating body temperature, helping with metabolism, energizing muscles and much more.
Kids who drink 4+ glasses of water per day are more likely to frequently exhibit healthy habits, such as
- Getting their own water when thirsty,
- Eating their fruits and vegetables at meal times without reminders
- Requesting healthy food and beverage options for school lunches
To keep them hydrated and drinking as much water as possible (yes, that means more potty breaks while we are out and about), I do a few things in my house. Here are my favorite tips for getting kids to drink more water.
Keep It Handy
I always have a large fruit water dispenser on our counter in the summer so that it always reminds the kids to drink when they come in. I always stock the fridge with water bottles that they can grab on the go.
I always bring an extra water thermos of water to sporting practices and events so that we always have a back up just in case.
Lead by Example
I am always reaching for water as my go-to beverage. I order water in restaurants and make sure that the kids see that hydration is important for everyone. If your child is playing, running, jumping and sweating, he or she needs even more water and other fluids.
Serving water in fancy glasses and flavoring it with fruit will get even the pickiest kids to get excited. Drinking a glass of water before a meal can help your kids feel full and resist the urge to eat more than they need.
Eat Your Water
Remember the rule about eating more fruits and vegetables? Well, it’s partly because they’re actually good at replacing fluids. Fruits like grapes, watermelon, oranges or cantaloupe are full of water. So are veggies like lettuce, cucumbers and celery. Just be sure to keep the liquids flowing, too.
Water in the Lunch Box
Adding a water bottle to their lunch box will keep them hydrated at school. According to the Nestlé® Pure Life® survey, a majority of kids say they prefer a homemade lunch (57%) over a school bought lunch. This preference for packed lunches offers a key hydration opportunity for moms to pack a bottle of water in their lunch.
As a proud supporter of the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Drink Up initiative, Nestlé® Pure Life®, is committed to helping children drink more water as part of their efforts to help families’ lead healthier lives. Encouraging small changes, like drinking water regularly at a young age, can have a big impact – they call this The Ripple Effect.