The summer holidays are over and for the last six weeks you’ve probably been monitoring your child’s food and water intake. The holidays, however, are a time for treats and although the weather made it easy to ensure our kids were well hydrated, water may not necessarily have been their first choice.
Now you’ve got them back to school, making sure they stay hydrated during the day is going to be more difficult. The fluid intake of your child is often overshadowed by the other back to school horrors such as winter tummy bugs, head lice and how to avoid the common cold, so finding handy tips can be difficult.
Kids often prefer sugary drinks to plain water, too which can make life a little more difficult for you. Plus, kids often forget to drink and are not so responsive to the thirst signal which during warmer weather or periods of exercise can put them at risk of dehydration.
Here are some handy tips to help keep your children hydrated now they’re back at school:
- Food and drink for children is all about taste
- Try filtering your tap water to improve the taste
- As a treat add some fresh fruit slices or ice for a bit more fun
- Avoid sugar
- If your child drinks fruit juice with a meal, water it down
- Orange juice with breakfast is a popular option but adding water to it reduces the sugar content
- Avoid sugary drinks after school by getting creative with some fruit-infused water recipes
- Let the kids prepare their own fruit-infused water maybe even try their own recipes to encourage them to drink it
- Don’t forget fruit and veg
- Some fruit and veg is packed full of water and help keep us hydrated
- Try adding the following to their lunchbox:
- Set a competition with your children to see who can drink the most water during the day
- Give rewards such as stickers or certificates
- Get sipping
- We often make the mistake of only drinking when we are thirsty
- Encourage your children to sip water throughout the day
- Get them a bottle
- Let your child choose their own reusable water bottle
- Having a bottle of their choice will encourage them to drink more water
It has been shown that children who drink more water perform better at school and could even achieve better exam results. If your child is between the ages of 4 and 13, typically they should be aiming to drink 4-13 glasses of water every day. However, you will need to take into consideration their age, their physical activity and the weather to determine the amount they need on a particular day.