Healthy Kids Challenge Part 2: Hydration
By Kate Horney
I believe that healthy kids are raised by healthy moms. As parents, we play a key role in our children’s choices and behaviors.
That’s why I’m excited to have my good friend and pediatrician (plus a mom herself), Dr. Rach join us on the blog to share about some healthy habits that we can work on making a part of our children’s lifestyles.
Not sure where to start? Let’s make it easy and begin with some essential new habits that will revolutionize your children’s health.
Catch up on the healthy kids habits that you’ve missed:
Part 1: Food
Healthy Kids Challenge Part 2
Proper hydration is vital to support the following biological functions:
– body temperature regulation
– cushion joints
– protects organs and tissues
– waste removal
– delivery of nutrient to oxygen and nutrients to cells
Water is also very important in preventing constipation, and we all know what an ordeal that is with kids.
We lose water naturally through sweat, breathing, urine and feces. When it heats up, we tend to need more water, so summer time means we need to make a big effort to get our kids drinking water.
How much water do our kids actually need?
The Institute of National Academies has outlined a rough guide to water consumption for children.
Age Gender Total Water/day
4-8 Years Girls and boys 1.3L / 44 oz
9-13 Years Girls 2.1L / 71 oz
Boys 2.4L / 81 oz
14-18 Years Girls 2.3L / 78 oz
Boys 3.3L / 112 oz
Some of the signs of dehydration to watch out for include:
– light headedness
– poor concentration
– decreased physical performance
Thirst is not a good indicator of hydration and prevention is always the best option, so here are few tips to keep your kids fully hydrated:
– use cute water bottles, cups or straws-presentation makes such a difference with kids
– take water with you when you go out-if you carry a reusable water bottle with you, it will save the environment too!!
– create a habit of regular drinking throughout the day even when they are not thirsty
– get them to drink a glass of water before they go outside to play
– add fresh fruit and herbs to make water more tasty to them
– when playing a sport, make sure they drink water at every break
– be a good example!
– if your kids drink juice, water it down
Water is the best option. It is cheap, prevents dental decay, and avoids nasties such as sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and flavors. An 8 oz cup of apple juice will give your kids a whopping 6 teaspoons of sugar, and a 12 oz can of soda will give your kids almost 10 teaspoons of sugar! Both of these sugar levels exceed the recommended daily maximum added sugar content for children.
However not all kids love water, especially if they drink soda or juice regularly. High water content fruit and vegetables can also help with hydration and can be a much more fun and effective way of increasing your kids fluid intake.
– watermelon (92 percent water)
– grapefruit and strawberries (around 90 percent water)
– celery and radishes (95 percent water)
– cucumbers (96 percent water)
– spinach and peppers (92 percent water)
Fruit and vegetables can also be easily incorporated into popsicles which can be fun and healthy. My kids love to eat popsicles even in winter. Just pop the fruit and veggies into the blender, with a bit of water, coconut milk, coconut water or some KidzShake and your kids will be very happy. Here is a recipe for a PineMango Coconut treat that your kids will love.
Dr. Rach is an advocate for children’s health and nutrition. She’s a mother of four girls and the creator of Kidz Shake.
Read more about Kidz Shake and why we love it!
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