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Water: How to Encourage Children to Drink

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health , Tags: dehydration, drinking, fluids, health, juice, liquid, milk, water

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When the weather is hot, it is relatively easy to encourage little ones to take in plenty of fluids with cold drinks, ice cream and lollies to keep them hydrated; but in the cooler weather, it's less obvious that your child may be getting dehydrated. Consuming water is so important, more so than eating food.

Water is vital for life.

  • It regulates the body temperature
  • It helps flush body waste in the form of urine
  • It is required for transporting nutrients throughout the body
  • It helps maintain a good weight
  • It helps avoid constipation and urinary infections
  • It helps digest food and absorb the nutrients from your food
  • It increases your energy levels

How much to drink:

  • Children aged 1-3 need just under 1 1/2 litres each day, although not exclusively in drink form as this includes the liquid consumed in food

How to encourage them to drink:

  1. Encourage little and often.  Offer them cups of water each time you have a drink.
  2. Drink in front of them to show you do it too!
  3. Give older children a little plastic jug to pour their own drinks.
  4. Try new drinks: peach or grape juice (watered down by 1/2) is unusual and tasty.
  5. Make sure there is water and milk available at pre-school or nursery.  Encourage your child to have a drink while away from home too.
  6. Find some fun 'sippy' cups or drinking straws to make it more fun for toddlers.
  7. Offer warm milk, chilled water, cool juice so vary the temperature.
  8. Feed liquid based foods: yoghurt, soups, etc.
  9. Eat juicy fruits like watermelon and pears.


Feeling Tired? Reach for some water!

Permalink by Tikal, Categories: Health, Food, Drink and Eating , Tags: dehydration water, drinking, fluids, hot weather, hydrating food, sun

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Two thirds of our body is made up of water, so it seem logical that we need to drink enough fluids to keep that level topped up especially in the hot weather - this advice is particularly important for children too!  Everyone loses fluids throughout the day by sweating and urinating, so in hot weather it's critical that we don't dehydrate.

Watch out for symptoms and signs of any side effects of dehydration in your little ones throughout the day.  Thisis particularly important if they aren't able to talk as they won't be able to tell you how they are feeling,

Symptoms of dehydration include:

  • a feeling of light-headeness
  • passing darker urine than normally
  • feeling thirsty

Side effects of dehydration:

  • headaches
  • feeling tired and light headed
  • feeling dry in the mouth and reducing the amount of saliva you produce
  • becoming more vulnerable to picking up coughs and colds (saliva is one of the body's main defenses against viruses)
  • physical fatigue
  • mental fatigue

Fun Drinks

Make sure that your little ones continue taking fluid throughout the day.  Here are some ideas to make drinking water a bit more fun so that they don't find drinking too much of a chore:-

  • Add coloured ice cubes (make them with food colouring or fruit juices) or a slice of lemon to their water
  • Give water a slight zing by Squeezing in some lemon or lime juice
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge to keep it icy cold
  • Keep a bottle of water with a 'sports top' with you when your out and about, your little ones will like the novelty of drinking from a bottle!

Hydrating Foods

You can also offer foods with high water content, here are some great hydrating foods for a hot day:-

  • Slices of water melon
  • Grapes (cut in half for little children)
  • Ice lollies (read this post for some fun ideas on how to make your own!)
  • Cucumber sticks
  • Red, orange and green pepper 'traffic light' sticks
  • Summer fruits, especially raspberries and strawberries
  • Tropical fruit slices: melon, pineapple, kiwi, mango, papaya

Enjoy the sun with your children, but make sure you all stay hydrated!

 

 



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