As National Nutrition Month comes to an end, we hope that your family has taken steps to improve your diets. In addition to eating well-balanced meals and “happy teeth” snacks, you must also be sure that your kids are drinking enough fluids. Dehydration can cause headaches, tiredness, crankiness, poor concentration, and over eating.
This chart, provided by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, outlines the minimum amount of water a child should drink. Please be aware that it should serve as only a guide. Children should drink more water when exercising and during periods of warm weather.
Water is almost always the best drink for kids. Other beverages have added sugar, which isn’t good for the body, especially the teeth. We recommend that you eliminate sugary beverages from your child’s diet as much as possible. Don’t worry about health benefits from fruit juices – nutrients found in these juices can be replaced with whole foods.
It can be tough to get kids to drink enough water. Read below for some helpful tips!
- If your child is hooked on fruit juices, gradually water them down.
- Infuse water with fruit. Cut up slices of strawberries, oranges, blueberries, or cucumbers, add them to water and let it sit overnight.
- Give your kids water in cool cups with their favorite characters.
- Stock up on colorful twisty straws
- Ice cubes can be fun too! Silicone ice cube trays are available in all sorts of shapes and figures
- Pack a water bottle. They’ll be more likely to drink water!
- Make homemade popsicles. Most packaged popsicles contain unhealthy additives, including a lot of added sugar