How to inculcate habit of drinking water in kids

2 year(s) ago
How to inculcate habit of drinking water in kids

A mother is always concerned about importance of water consumption in her child's day to day life. Here are answers to some of the most common questions mothers are generally concerned about.

Q. Why is water essential for my child?

A. Water is one of the most essential components of a balanced and healthy diet as water:

  • Keeps children hydrated and prevents heat stroke.
  • Regulates body temperature.
  • Regulates bowel movements.
  • Prevents constipation and urinary tract infection.
  • Flushes out toxins.
  • Essential for optimal mental health, reduces irritability and fatigue.

Q. How much water should my child drink in a day?

A. The amount of water that your child requires varies depending on his age.

  • 1 - 3 year old toddlers: 1.3 litres of fluid/day including 350-400 ml of milk.
  • 3 - 8 year old: 5 glasses (1 litre) of water.
  • 9 - 12 year old: 7 glasses (1.5 litres) of water.
  • 13and above: 8 to 10 glasses (2-2.5 litres) of water.

Q. Is there a good time to drink water?

A. Yes. Drinking a glass of warm water early in morning will help activate your child's organ and remove toxins from body. Also, a glass of water half an hour before meals aids in digestion.

Q. Should I give warm or cold water to my child?

A. Most medical experts agree that room temperature or warm water is best suited for your child as it helps in improving digestion as well as detoxification. Additionally, it relieves constipation and nasal and throat congestion. On the other hand, cold water lowers body temperature quickly as compared to warm water and hence should be had after your child is back from evening play or during a hot sweaty day.

Q. Are there any occasions when my child should drink more water than usual?

A. Yes. You should increase your child's water intake if he is suffering from diarrhea to prevent dehydration. If your child is suffering from fever, increasing cold water intake will help reduce body temperature quickly. Also, increasing water intake during summers will prevent your child from heat stroke.

Q. My child refuses to drink water. How can I increase water intake of my child?

A. Some simple and fun ways to increase your child's water intake:

  • Buy fancy cups and glasses in your child's favourite colour or cartoon print.
  • Use colourful straws to encourage your child to drink more water.
  • Be a role model by drinking water when they are around.
  • Use fruit water or fruit slice in water to increase water intake. Add ¼th glass fruit juice to ¾ the glass of water to make it more fruit flavoured. Once he is habituated to drinking water gradually wean him off fruit water and give him plain water to drink.
  • Make drinking water fun. Challenge your child to drink water up to a certain level of the cup.
  • Add some fun shaped ice-cubes to increase water consumption.
  • Play games or show them videos or use worksheets about various water related activities to excite them about water.

These are some of the most common queries a mother has regarding water intake of her child. If you have any more questions regarding water intake, please feel free to ask.

Click here to watch videos on water for kids

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Neha Sanwalka
Dr. Neha Sanwalka has a PhD in health sciences, masters in nutrition & dietetics and is a certified diabetes educator. She specialises in neonatal, paediatric & endocrinal nutrition, bone health & SPSS (a statistical software). She is the director of a start-up, NutriCanvas, which provides diet consultations and conducts various nutrition workshops.

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