Kids love water. To be more precise, kids love splashing, swimming and water-bombing. They love being sprayed with hoses. Puddles, pools, rivers, streams and of course the sea – all fine.
Watching strange creatures flit across the surface of a pond shimmering with sunlight? Check.
Spending so long in a paddling pool that the grass on your lawn takes a year to recover? Check.
Feeling the bubbling waters of a fast flowing river rush over your ankles as you jump across on stepping stones?
Water parks, log flumes, lawn sprinklers – bring them on. Ice cubes, ice lollies, ice cream – of course.
Have a glass of water?
Now I have explained, as have their teachers, that our bodies are 70% water and that even a slight drop in the levels of hydration has a measurable effect on our cognitive ability.
I obviously translated this for them as in “you won’t be able to find your Shopkins or Star Wars Lightsabers”.
I have warned them both that if they don’t start imbibing water soon they will both look like a pair of sultanas on a day out in Marbella. I mean the fruit, not the female potentate.
But, after two or three sips, glasses are cast aside. Caitlin, in particular, is dreadful for not drinking water. Weirdly she will drink a glass before she goes to bed from the upstairs sink because the water there is especially cold and she says it tastes nicer.
We have a cupboard full of water bottles in a variety of colours and featuring several of their favourite characters to encourage them to enjoy more water.
They will, however, drink squash, in particular, Robinsons and, in a poll of 2000 adults commissioned by the company, it was found that 64% of parents don’t know how much water their children should be drinking each day, and 42% say their children find the taste of water ‘boring’.
How much water should your child drink each day?
As a general guideline, kids:
- aged 5-8 should drink 1 litre a day (approx 5 glasses)
- aged 9-12 need 1.5 litres a day (approx 7 glasses)
- over 13+ – the recommended amount is 2 litres (8-10 glasses).
These quantities should be increased if your children are exercising a lot or on a hot day.
We also try to instil into our kids the fact that when you feel thirsty you are already dehydrated so it’s best to top your water levels up regularly throughout the day.
In January this year, Robinsons launched the Enjoying Drinking More Water campaign and we were sent a selection of Robinsons Squash’d – little pods of super-concentrated squash which make up to 20 drinks when diluted with water, and a star chart to help track our progress.
Robinsons Squash’d comes in a variety of flavours such as Passion Fruit & Mango, Orange & Peach, Lemon & Pink Grapefruit and, Caitlin and Ieuan’s favourite, Apple & Blackcurrant.
Now obviously we are well aware of the importance of protecting our kids’ teeth, but I think that as long as they have good dental hygiene and are given a clean bill of health by the dentist, then there is little harm in one or two glasses of squash a day, provided that their teeth are not brushed immediately afterwards and are given at least 20 minutes to avoid damaging the tooth enamel.
And you don’t want little ones constantly sucking on a bottle or sippy cup filled with squash for this very reason.
But, as a way of getting them to enjoy more water, adding a dash of one of Robinsons flavoured squashes from one of their cute little portable Squash’d pods is a great way to get them to up their water intake – particularly since Robinsons Squash’d contains no added sugar or artificial colours or preservatives.
I would certainly prefer that they had squash rather than fizzy drinks which can do much greater damage to young tooth enamel.
So how do you get kids to up their water intake?
Ways to get your kids to drink more water
Use a reward chart
A reward chart works well and is a great way to measure how much they are drinking – if you can get them to remember to add stickers. Hands up, we weren’t brilliant at this.
Have a jug of water on the table at mealtimes
You could have a jug of water with some pretty glasses on the table with each meal, perhaps jazzing the water up with some slices of lemon or orange. We encourage our two to help set the table and filling the water jug is a great task to delegate to an older child.
Try a variety of water bottles
There are loads of different types of water bottle such as these which allow you to add a selection of fruit to a central reservoir in the bottle. We tried strawberries and mint for example.
Get the kids to take bottled water to their exercise /sports classes
I make sure the kids have a bottle of water to take to their ballet and Tae Kwon-Do as I find it’s easier to get them to drink plain water if they have been exercising.
Lead by example
As parents, we have to lead by example so the Husband and I make sure that we drink water with meals too.
Keep hydrated during shopping
If we are out together shopping, I will often carry a couple of bottles of mineral water for us and mix up some squash to take with us for the kids. Carrying a Robinsons Squash’d with you means you can mix up squash almost anywhere.
Keep a glass of water by the kids’ bedsides at night
We also make sure that the kids have a glass of water by their bedside each night. It’s part of our nightly ritual and oddly it is the one time of day they will happily drink it.
Make your own Squash lollies
In hot weather, a simple to use lolly kit is a godsend because you can just freeze your squash to make an additive-free lolly.
Give them a ‘grown up’ glass or bottle, or a fun straw
Anything which ups the fun factor is more likely to get them to drink.
Medicate with water first
If the kids complain about having a sore throat or a headache, our first piece of advice is always to have a long glass of water.
Keep hydrated when travelling
We never travel in the car without having some bottled water to hand which is really important in hot weather and we can carry one of the Robinsons Squash’d pods to make some impromptu squash to jazz things up a bit.
I hope you’ve found some of our ideas helpful. Let me know how you encourage your kids to enjoy more water in the comments below.