Getting your kids to drink water can sometimes be a battle. They may have become accustomed to drinking juice or soda. Perhaps they’ve reached an age where they want to be in control. Or maybe they just don’t like the taste of water right now. But not drinking enough water can cause headaches, fatigue, constipation and dwindling concentration at school.
We’ve learned that if you want your little ones to do something, make it FUN! We're about to embark on a hydration journey that’s as entertaining as it is essential for your childrens’ well-being. Here’s all you need to know about how to keep your kids hydrated.
The crucial role of water in your child’s health
Water isn’t just a thirst quencher; it’s the unsung hero of your child’s health. H2O plays a huge role in their growth, development and overall happiness. The American Academy of Pediatrics says children aged one to three years need about 4 cups a day, including water or milk; around five cups for four- to eight-year-olds; and seven to eight cups for older children.
While each child’s needs vary, depending on their age, the weather and how much physical activity they do, young children have a higher proportion of body water than adults. They are also less heat tolerant and may be more likely to get dehydrated, especially when being physically active and living in hot climates. Adequate fluid intake is therefore important for maintaining their health and well-being.
What should my child be drinking?
It’s a sad fact that sugary drinks are everywhere, tempting our kids at every turn. Nearly half of all two- to five-year-olds in the U.S. drink sugary drinks every day. About 19% of children in the U.S. are obese, which increases the risk of diabetes and other lifelong health problems.
If your pantry is full of juice boxes, you may be in for a surprise. Nutrition advocacy group Healthy Eating Research says that for the first five years, children should drink mostly milk and water. The recommendations, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, go on to say that young children should drink less than a cup of 100% juice per day – and that none at all is a better choice.
Other drinks that come under fire are:
- any drink with sugar or other sweeteners, including low-calorie or artificially sweetened beverages, chocolate milk or other flavored milk
- caffeinated drinks
- toddler formulas
- plant-based beverages, like almond, rice or oat milk (but soy milk is preferred if parents want an alternative to cow’s milk).
The answer? Steer clear of these sweet traps and opt for water. Water is the best overall drink, as it does not contain any sugar or other additives.
Ways to drink more water: encourage your child to hydrate
Encouraging your child to drink more water may be difficult, especially if they don’t feel thirsty. However, thirst is quite a late sign of needing fluids, so children should be drinking regularly – several cups spread evenly throughout the day. Here are some creative ways to stay hydrated.
Just add a straw
Straws aren’t just for sipping; they’re magic wands that transform ordinary sips into slurps, silliness and fun.
Buy a fun cup and reusable bottle
Let your child pick out a special cup and then only let them use that cup when they are drinking water. Always leave the special cup of water where your child can reach it. Get them a personal, fun-colored water bottle for when they’re on the go.
Throw a tea party
Tea parties aren't just for pretending. Let them pour and serve “tea” with their own little teapot and cups to make hydration a treat.
Turn hydration into a game
Challenge your child to drink to a certain level of the cup. If there’s a cartoon character on there, say: “Drink until you reach the bottom of the shoe!”
What’s cooler than cool? Ice cool! There are some great ice tray shapes out there, from penguins to stars – guaranteed to make drinking water far more fun.
Teach your child to serve themselves
If you’ve got a water or ice dispenser in your fridge, teach your little one how to use it. Set up some cups in an accessible place and tell them they’re free to get their own water and ice whenever they want. The Brio Moderna Ice Dispenser & Bottom Load Water Cooler is your friend here.
Try fruit-infused water
Sweet temptations minus the guilt! Simply add fruit to your H2O – we have some great ideas on How to Make Your Water Taste Better: Our Top 10 Water Infusion Recipes. Or try freezing raspberries or pieces of strawberry in ice cubes and adding those to your child’s special water cup.
Be a water role model
If your little one sees you talking positively about hydration and taking regular water breaks, they’re likely to do so too.
Talk about healthy hydration habits
It’s not just about drinking – it’s about understanding. Show your kids the bigger picture. Break down the science of how water nourishes every part of the body. Link water consumption to overall well-being to create habits that last a lifetime.
Filtered water: the best option for your family
Proper hydration complements a healthy lifestyle, and replacing sugary or caffeinated beverages with clean purified water has countless benefits. Installing a water filter empowers everyone at home to make healthier hydration choices. Here’s five reasons why we love filtered water:
1 Peace of mind
No matter your current water quality, Brio can help turn that water into the very best H2O for you and your family. Reverse osmosis filtration is an ideal way to secure your water, so you always know it’s safe. With 0.0001-micron pores, a reverse osmosis membrane can remove a broad swath of dangerous contaminants. So when you install a reverse osmosis filtration system or dispenser, you ensure fresh, clean water is easily accessible.
2 Better taste
One of the most common complaints about tap water is its taste and odor. For water that’s smooth, refreshing and tastes clean and pure, go reverse osmosis purified – delicious even for the fussiest of kids.
Because a reverse osmosis filtration system or dispenser works with your home’s own water system and typically comes with a dedicated faucet, purified water is always available. It’s easy for your child to grab their cup or water bottle and fill up.
Bottled water is an expensive way to stay hydrated, but it hurts the environment even more. A reverse osmosis filtration system or dispenser means you can kick that single-use plastic habit to the curb for good and switch to a child-friendly cup.
5 You’re in control
In a world where we have little control, with a water filter, you’re in charge. You know your children are hydrating with the most pure water possible, which is essential for their development.
Raise your cups – we’ve uncovered the secrets to how to get kids to drink water! We’re here to provide cleaner, healthier water to complement your family’s lifestyle – because how you choose to hydrate is a major daily decision that plays a vital role in your children’s nourishment and development. Shop our collection.