4th April 2024

Hydration hacks to get kids drinking more water

Hydration hacks to get kids drinking more water

Let’s face it, getting children to drink throughout the day can feel like an ongoing battle for most parents, which is why Cumbrian Natural Mineral Water brand Aqua Pura and Zoe Griffiths, a Registered Nutritionist specialising in children’s nutrition – are on hand to offer tips to ensure your child’s thirst is easily quenched.

Zoe Griffiths says: “Thinking about whether your child has had enough to drink is up there on the list of things parents worry about daily alongside whether they have had the right amount of fruit and veg or if they have had too much screen time.

“I know first-hand how tricky it can be to ensure your little one is hydrated but I also know these tips work because they are tried and tested!”

Zoe’s top tips for helping children stay hydrated:

1. Have a drinking routine

Try to encourage your child to have a drink at regular intervals throughout the day including mealtimes, snack times and during activities. If a drink is always available, it becomes a natural habit for them to reach for it.

2. Talk about the importance of staying hydrated

Children like to feel in control and responsible for tasks, so talk to them about the importance of staying hydrated and how much they need to drink each day e.g. aim for 6-8 cups of water per day.

3. Make water accessible

Encourage them to help themselves to water. Place cups by the tap and have a bottle or jug of water on the table at mealtimes. If you have a drink of water in reach of your child at all times, they can take a sip whenever they want. This encourages their independence and makes them more likely to have a drink.

Children love quirky straws or bottles that they will enjoy drinking from and using them can encourage them to drink more. Sometimes an item with their favourite character on is enough of a motivation to help them increase their water intake.

4. Lead by example

Let your child see that you drink water. Children learn by example and will copy what you do so if you are drinking water, they will too.

5. Experiment with different flavours

Often kids say that water tastes boring so experiment with infusing water with different flavours like orange and lime slices, berries or mint and cucumber, just to mix it up a little. Another trick is to make fruit smoothies so children are consuming their water intake via fruits and vegetables. Or how about making fruit ice cubes by freezing blueberries or lemon slices into water filled ice cube trays? Fruit and veg like watermelon and cucumber are naturally high in water which is great to stay hydrated on hot days.

6. Take water with you

If water is always on hand, they’re more likely to get into the habit of drinking regularly. Try tasking them to fill up their own water bottles to take with them when they leave the house or keep bottles of water in the boot of your car so you’ve always got some to hand.

Zoe adds: “Staying hydrated is important for children’s bodies. Fluid intake is essential to transport nutrients, remove waste products in urine, regulate body temperature through sweating and lubricate and cushion joints. Drinking enough fluid also helps to prevent constipation which is a common problem in children.”

How much water should my child be drinking?

The European Food Safety Authority tells us that children should be consuming the below volumes of water:

  • Boys and Girls between 4-8: 1.6 litres of water daily
  • Boys aged 9-13: 1 litres of water daily
  • Girls aged 9-13: 9 litres of water daily

What are signs of dehydration in a child?

  • Increased thirst
  • Dark or strong-smelling pee, urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Peeing less than four times a day (dry nappies if not potty trained)
  • Complaining of a headache
  • Dizzy or lightheaded
  • Dry mouth, tongue or lips
  • Low energy levels or tiredness
  • Sunken eyes

Milk is also a great choice for a drink for children. Fruit juice or smoothies can also be given but should be limited to 150 ml a day. Sugar-free drinks or tea and coffee can be given occasionally. Sugary drinks should be avoided.

About Zoe Griffiths RNutr

Zoe is a Registered Nutritionist with over 30 years’ experience working in public health organisations

where she has specialised in children’s nutrition. Zoe has also lectured in Nutrition at Bristol, Surrey

and Bath Spa Universities. She currently runs her own freelance nutrition business, ZG Nutrition,

where she works on projects relating to children’s nutrition and school food, develops recipes and

writes on a wide range of nutrition topics. Zoe also runs her own Nutritionist recruitment agency.

Aqua Pura is one of the UK’s leading accredited Natural Mineral Water brands. Its water comes from the hills of Cumbria and is sourced 312 metres below the Eden Valley from one of the UK’s largest aquifers. The water is filtered naturally through the ancient rocks and bottled within minutes of leaving the ground to lock in the unique and refreshing taste.

You can buy Aqua Pura in 500ml, 1.5 litre and 5 litre bottles or in bulk 500ml packs (both 12pk and 24pk) – ideal for storing in your car boot for days out – from nearly all UK supermarkets from as little as 25p per bottle.