Water is by far the best source of hydration for children. Some of the obvious benefits are that it has no calories, is low cost and readily available from a tap near you. So, what can you do to help your child drink more water? Here are 7 tips you should try.
- If your group size is small, keep a pitcher, or container of water available always, so that even the youngest child can easily have access to it.
- If in a school or recreation setting, hang colorful signs near water fountains encouraging children to drink more water. Consider decorating the wall above the water fountains with fun names and colors and encourage the children to make their own signs. Perhaps you can even hold a poster making contest making groups of kids work together to come up with keywords and phrases the would make a child take a second look.
- Ask a local business to donate water bottles or cups to your school or program and let the business know that you are making healthy hydration a priority. Provide the craft supplies and allow children to decorate their own bottle. You may even be able to rope your local hobby store into your movement and ask them to donate some of the supplies that will be needed to do the decorating.
- For teachers of schools or recreation, let families know your program makes water available and ask families to support this wellness goal by ensuring that their children pack a water bottle every day and reinforce that the bottle is only to be used for water.
- Children are always watching, so set a good example and drink water yourself as much as possible. Even the presence of an empty soda or juice bottle on your desk can send mixed messages
- Try silly water, add lemon, lime juice, berries, or a sprig of mint to fresh water, hold a water taste test to find out what kind of silly water your children prefer. Boost the fun even more with colorful ice cube molds which you will find at Walmart or your local dollar store.
- Finally, keep a water log and have your child or children fill out the number of ounces that they are drinking daily. Set a goal for the month and when that goal is reached celebrate with a healthy treat or an inexpensive toy that they have been eyeing.