05 Oct 11 Painless Ways to Keep Kids Hydrated
I’m a proud spokesperson for Nestlé® Pure Life® I was compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own
Say hello to the newest Richardson YMCA Kindergarten soccer coach.
It *may* have been one of those instances in which if I didn’t step up to coach there would be no team—but I’ve now happily embraced my roll and am thankful for my assistant coaches who actually know the game of soccer.
We’ve tried my best to impart a healthy atmosphere around the team. We end each practice and game with a reminder to get lots of sleep, eat lots of healthy foods like fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water to stay hydrated. We’ve also limited snacks and have encouraged only water at games and practices. I’d be lying if I said this was met with open arms by all of the parents on the team, but for the most part, they are following the lead. It’s a big change for some and the shift is slow.
But here’s the deal: Kids in America aren’t drinking as much water as they should.
Did you know that even mild dehydration can cause issues including headaches, irritability, poor physical performance and reduced cognitive function? 1
In a survey recently conducted by Nestlé® Pure Life®, moms and kids revealed many surprising insights about their hydration habits.
Here’s my Top 11 Tips to Keeping Kids Hydrated that features some of those surprising survey results:
1. 33% of kids surveyed* find it hard to remember to drink water without reminders. One suggestion to remind kids to drink more water during play dates or other group events is to designate an adult Water Captain to help with hydration. The captain sets an alarm on his/her phone for various intervals, depending on conditions such as the temperature, the type and level of play. Each time the alarm sounds, the group breaks for water.
2. Prep ahead a week’s worth of bottled water, like Nestlé® Pure Life® Purified Water, for lunches or on-the-go-events at one time. Store in the freezer and remove when needed to stock lunches, backpacks or gym bags. The water will be ready to drink when your child is ready.
3. Lead by example. Each time Mom or Dad goes for a drink of water, ask your children if they’d like a drink of water, too. Soon, it will be the kids asking the parents if they’d like to join them for a water break.
4. Checking your child’s urine color is a simple way to gauge whether or not enough he/she is getting enough fluid each day. When well hydrated, urine should be straw or lemonade color. If the urine is dark yellow, encourage additional water intake.
5. Have cups, straws, lids and other drinking “equipment” available to provide to your kids to make drinking water more fun. Empower them to fill their own cups of water-and praise them when they do.
6. 29% of moms surveyed* say that “fun tactics” would get their kids to drink more water. What’s a fun tactic? Try storing a disposable cup or water bottle on a low shelf or in the side door of the refrigerator and label it with your child’s initial. Or, use a favorite character sticker or trinket or even designate a special space in the fridge just for your child’s water!
7. Using age appropriate concepts, talk to your kids about the importance of hydration. For young children, explain that it helps them stay cool when they are hot; for older, school-aged children, remind them that even mild to moderate dehydration can negatively impact mood, energy, concentration and short term memory—which are all important when studying, taking exams or playing sports.
8. Talk as a family about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to eating a well balanced diet and getting regular exercise, discuss drinking water and getting enough sleep as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. A recent survey* found that kids who drink 4+ glasses of water per day are more likely to exhibit healthy habits, such as getting their own water when they are thirsty or eating their fruit and vegetables at meal times without reminders.
9. Drink a cup when you wake up. Create a routine that involves drinking 1 cup of water upon waking. Simply leave a supply of disposable paper cups near the sink. Much like washing the face and brushing teeth, this will quickly become a regular part of the morning for each family member.
10. According to 88% of moms surveyed*, water is the beverage their child most regularly drinks in the car. Make this a healthy habit by making sure that each child has a bottle of water in hand before they leave the house.
11. Together with your child, set a water intake goal. Create a chart or a graph (or log it online) and help them meet their goals with frequent reminders throughout the day. If goals are met, reward with a water-centric item such as a personalized water bottle or a novelty straw.
* The Nestlé® Pure Life® “The Ripple Effect” Survey was conducted by KRC Research between June 5-19, 2015 via an online survey of 1,077 moms of kids ages 6-12 overall, including 254 Hispanic moms of kids ages 6-12. 1,077 kids ages 6-12 from the same household were also surveyed, including 254 Hispanic kids ages 6-12. The overall sample was weighed to be representative of the U.S. population of moms.