This is a Guest Post from our friend, Sharon Hurley Hall.
Most people know that medical professionals recommend that you drink about eight glasses of water each day. It can be difficult to transition from a habit of soft drinks to water but when adults know the health benefits and the weight loss benefits, it is something that can be done once you put your mind to it. But are you encouraging your kids to adopt the same healthy habit?
How do you get your kids to drink more water? Kids love flavour and prefer milk and juice. Starting habits early is the best approach but if you’ve already got a scenario on your hands where your child balks at anything but juice, soft drinks, or sports drinks, it might be time to get strategic about it.
Making drinking water a part of your childrens’ day will make vast differences in several areas such as: oral health, healthy weight, and good habits that could last a lifetime. Here are some strategies for getting your kids to drink more water:
Instead of giving them a choice of beverages, make it a habit to serve a pitcher of water or bottles of water at each meal. Bring water on car trips and to sports events. The more often it’s available as the only choice, the more likely kids will get accustomed to it (and stop complaining about it).
Have you got kids who turn their nose up at water and won’t drink anything but juice? You can wean your kids off their sugary beverage addiction by diluting the juice. Adding more water than juice and increasing the ratio over time might mean that your kids get accustomed to the lack of sugar, which is helpful with smaller kids. For older kids, you can also simply tell them that you’ll just stop buying juice and sports drinks altogether unless you see a better ratio of water being drank.
Why not start a family health challenge to encourage everyone to drink more water? Family challenges can empower everyone and a bit of friendly competition can be a great tool to get kids to embrace doing something healthy. Incorporate fitness, healthy eating, and increasing water intake and come up with creative ways to measure and reward everyone that participates.
Drinking enough water is one of the best things you can do for your health and for the health of your kids. What might start off as a challenging thing to accomplish in your household could wind up being a habit that lasts well into adulthood.