Keeping your child hydrated is the simplest yet the most effective way to promote good health and wellbeing. But unfortunately, most kids do not drink enough water every day. As a parent, it’s a good idea to act a good role model and drink water throughout the day, starting right from the time you wake up. Here is why drinking water is key to your child’s health and how you can include more water in their diet.

Why is water important for Kids?

  • About 75% of the human body is composed of water.
  • Water helps to transport nutrients, oxygen, and other substances in and out of the body.
  • Water assists all chemical reactions in the body.
  • Water helps maintain and regulate the temperature of your body.
  • It helps prevent constipation and promotes the softening of stools.
  • It also helps in the removal of toxins and waste from the body.
  • Water acts as a lubricant for our eyes, joints, nose, and mouth.

How much water does your children need in a day?

Guidelines set by the Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) show that the total amount of water needed depends on the child’s weight. The amount is based on the total fluid intake inclusive of water.

8 800
10 1000
12 1100
14 1200
16 1300
18 1400

How to know whether your child is consuming less water?

When the body does not get enough water, it tends to get dehydrated. If your child is consuming less amount of fluids, the body sends out certain signals and markers. These signals or markers are as follows:

  • Dark-colored urine
  • Less amount of urine
  • Frequent headaches
  • Lack of energy
  • Dizziness

Always remember to give your child enough water before, during, and after any kind of sport, game, or physical activity. The fluid that is lost through urine and sweat must be compensated by taking in enough fluids. Make sure the child sips the water and does not gulp it down in a hurry. It may not be possible to accurately monitor how much fluid the child has lost, and so, as a thumb rule, give them 6-8 cups of water throughout the day.

How to include water in your child’s diet?

  • Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet, especially those that contain lots of water. These can include foods like cucumber, watermelon, oranges, mosambi, tomatoes etc.
  • Encourage your child to consume fresh fruit or vegetable juice. Discourage consumption of colas, sodas, readymade fruit juice drinks.
  • Excite your child’s taste buds by giving them fruit popsicles to suck on. These can be a real hit in summers.
  • Introduce more liquids in his or her diet in the form of soups, curries, broth, buttermilk, coconut water etc.
  • If you feel your child just will not drink plain water, add some lemon wedges and orange slices with mint to the water, to give it a refreshing flavor.

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