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How can you get children to drink more water?
My 7 year old only drinks when she's thirsty, and that is hardly at all. It's starting to cause health problems. She doesn't like any other drinks, including fruit juices, so I can't give her those instead. When I tell her that she needs to drink more it actually has the opposite effect, even when I explain why it's important. (She sees it as nagging).
The doctor has also told her that she needs to drink more water. (And she explained to me that not drinking enough water is very common for children. But she didn't give me any tips).
What should I do?
Another hubber just answered this question in a hub a few days ago--http://mommymay.hubpages.com/hub/5-Ways-to-Get-Your-Children-to-Drink-More-Water
I would say stop buying sodas. If it isn't there, she can't drink it. Let her have them occasionally but make it clear they are a treat not a regular drink. Don't tell her this has been done to make her drink water, pretend you forgot to buy it or the store ran out. Then see what you can both come up with instead of sugary sodas.
Buy sparkling mineral water and create healthy sodas with your child using various fruit juices. Fruit juices straight are often too strong for a young child's taste, so mixing it with fizzy water makes it more like soda pop. If she really objects at the very sight of all fruit juices, use high-juice bottled cordials instead - she won't realize it's mainly fruit juice.
Let her be involved in the creative process and choose which juices to mix, so she feels positive toward the resulting drink. Maybe let her create a name for the new drink, maybe even put it into bottles and help her make labels. Make it like a game, a shared activity with her mom. Drink it yourself and show some enthusiasm. Other adults, such as her dad or grandparents, or your friends, can try the new drink your child has created and say how delicious it is.
Of course, many fruit juices are high in acid and excessive consumption of these can harm the tooth enamel. But from what you say, excessive consumption is unlikely since she is reluctant to drink much at all. What you need to do is wean her off sugary sodas (assuming that's what she drinks at present - you don't actually say). It's a step in the right direction.
Drink water yourself and let her see you doing so. Ditto the rest of the family. It's important to set an example. So many parents tell their kids to eat broccoli while they themselves tuck into French fries. Put a jug of iced water on the table at mealtimes.
While people don't like to give coffee to kids because of the caffeine, tea has a lot less caffeine so if your child likes it, that is one way of consuming water.
Kids never want to do what they are ordered/advised to do by their parents, even 7 year olds. Things that are "good for you" are by definition horrible. You need her to take her own decision to drink water.
Since she is only 7, maybe you could get her to explain to someone or something else - maybe a puppy or kitten - why it should drink water. She might convince herself at the same time.
You may be conning her if you do the above, but it's in a good cause:)
If my kids don't want to drink what I offer them, they usually change their mind if I give them the same drink in a glass with a straw, straws works like magic for me
We use Propel. Our pediatrician actually recommended it. It's not full of sugar or caffeine. It's a mildly flavored water with zero calories. My children love it.
Also, in the summer time I fill a pitcher with ice water then add orange slices, strawberries, or pineapple to the pitcher for a day. The fruit naturally flavors the water without added sugars, just what occurs in the fruit. You can let them eat the fruit if they like or just spoon it out.
Have more pretzels around! I really don't understand the concept of a child needing to drink more water than is their natural tendency, but I'm old. Maybe the salt would be equally as bad, but if the doctor says your child needs to drink more water, you can get your little one into the habit and later lessen the reinforcer of the habit by slowly decreasing the availability of the salty foods. Thus the habit of drinking more water is established.
I agree with the other commentors here. Also, try the water enhancers in a water bottle. She may like picking out the flavors of the enhancers (they have the store brand or other brands like Mio or Kool-Aid) she may enjoy drinking it if you allow her to flavor it herself and choose her flavor each time. My kids don't really reach for water as their first choice either so I got into the habit of getting the bottled water or mixing water with their juice drinks. We use the enhancers now 98% of the time and they love choosing their flavors and it has really upped their water intake. Good luck!
What about Jell-O? It's mostly water, but you can keep that a secret from your daughter. You can reduce the sugar content by cutting the flavored kind with plain gelatin.
I find the water in our area to be very hard and has lots of flouride and chlorine in which is very bad for our health. I would try getting a really decent water filter such as the 'pro pure' the water comes our much softer and you may find she will drink it more. Fluids are the key here, so perhaps you could start talking about how lovely water is, and how it sustains life, suggest making colourful ice cubes with fruit in or edible dye and glitter. Allow her to pick out a range of beautiful kawaii straws and a funky cup, get her her own jug so she can pour her own water daily. Keep the salt content low in her food, and offer up lots of watery fruit like melons. Make it special and fun, and try not to focus on how much you want her to drink it- she is clever, and will just dig her heels in- hope this helps, let me know how it goes
With sick animals it's suggested you put a little salt in their water to inspire more thirst - not enough to taste, mind you. You don't want anyone throwing up or finding it yucky, just enough to cue her body into drinking more. (This is how a lot of non-water drinks get customers coming back. Add enough sugar so the taste is hard to bypass and enough salt so that you don't feel satisfied drinking one glass! Granted int hat case that's not a healthy eating habit at that point!)
Feeding moist foods helps a lot. People these days eat so many dry foods.. we never used to. Give her fruits and veggies and smoothies and yogurt pops. I know when I was a kid I had a similar problem - only thing that got me drinking was allowing me free access to watermelon and freeze pops in the summer particularly.
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