How to Get Children to Drink More Water
Getting your kids to drink plenty of water is one of our many important tasks as parents and it’s easier said than done. I’ve managed to get our daughters into the habit of drinking quite a lot of water but some days I still have to remind them to drink more.
In this post, I’ve put together some tips and tricks that have worked well for us and have helped get our daughters to drink more water.
- Make Water the Main Drink
This might be more difficult if your child is older but still very much possible. After finishing with breastfeeding, my eldest still had one bottle of milk per day for some time but after that, water has been her main drink and my youngest went straight from breastfeeding to eating food and lost complete interest in any kind of milk after that. She’s been drinking water as well and that’s simply what they have. Very occasionally, my eldest has a tiny glass (like a shot glass) of fruit juice with breakfast if that’s something I’m having but they don’t expect anything other than water and they really like it too.
If your child is already used to drinking squash or similar, try to reduce the amount you put in gradually before moving to plain water.
- Find Suitable Bottles & Cups
The children’s drinkware market has plenty of choice and different types of cups and bottles are suitable for different ages and stages so you might have to try different types as your child grows. We have experimented with quite a few different ones and have now settled on two types for using at home and when out and about too. We use stainless steel Kleen Kanteen ones with tops from One Green Bottle and OXO Tot Twist Top Water Bottles that are absolutely brilliant. My eldest has had this style twice before so it’s a long term favourite. What I love about it, is that it’s got a large capacity, a wide straw that is easy to drink from and that it’s very hygienic too.
We all remember the horror story of the mouldy sippy cups in the news a while ago and since then it’s been a big priority of mine to source children’s drinkware that is easy to clean thoroughly. OXO Tot Twist Top Water Bottles are really easy to clean and I can’t see anywhere where any water might get trapped. The straw is in two parts and both can be removed easily when you wash it. I also love the twist top that allows your child to open and close the bottle without touching the straw. As you twist the top, the end of the straw folds neatly inside the top of the bottle. It’s so clever and hygienic and I’ve noticed that both my girls drink a lot more water when we use these.
When you’ve bought a new bottle or cup, try it yourself to make sure it’s easy to drink from if your child seems to not like it. It’s worth always having a few different types available — like free-flowing and straw ones, for example, in case your child has a preference for one of them.
Non-spill cups and bottles are great for things like car journeys or when visiting other people’s houses but generally I believe that children drink more when the water vessel is free-flowing or has a straw.
- Make Water Available at All Times
Don’t just serve water at mealtimes, but keep your child’s water bottle or cup with them at all times. If you’re at home, move it with them when you go to different rooms and, if you head out, take it with you. If your child is at school, send them in with a water bottle for the classroom if this is allowed and of course with their packed lunch too. When you’re collecting them from school, ensure you have some water available too. Keep the bottles topped up and encourage your child to drink throughout the day.
- Be Mindful of the Temperature
Some kids really prefer water when it’s very cold (I do too!) so if your child drinks more when the water is cold, keep filling the water up with fresh water as often as you can. When you’re out or if your child is at school, they can use an insulated water bottle to keep the water at the right temperature throughout the day.
Children love their parents and love being like them so show them that you’re drinking lots of water and they’ll want to do it too. I keep a few water bottles for myself in the fridge and tell the kids when I’m having some and they always reach for their own bottles when I’m having some water to drink.
- Keep Bottles Clean & Replace When Needed
Wash all bottles at the end of each day and use a good dish rack that lets them drain and dry properly between use. Use a straw brush to clean straws and other hard to reach areas. All bottles will get some wear and tear after some time so inspect them regularly to check that they’re still in good condition and replace bottles or parts when needed.
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