Good habits start early.
First things first, kids (and adults!) need a good quality water bottle. (i.e. metal, BPA plastic free) Kids lose water bottles allllll the time. I get it. BUT we do not want to be giving our children water from poor quality plastics. They can have loads of long term negative health impacts (think leading xenoestrogens and bacteria build up etc).
The why? Kids need to know the importance of hydration.
- Chat to them about thirst and the feeling of thirst. Getting children to recognise their body’s signs and symptoms is key (also talk about hot days compared to cold days and temperature control).
- Simply ask them occasionally “are you thirsty”
- Talk to them about how water and staying hydrated will help them create energy they can use to play their favourite outside games. How it will enhance their sports performance (and help tem play like their favourite AFL or soccer player), be strong like their favourite superhero and make them think more clearly so it might be easier to learn! Make it fun and relatable for them.
- Make it a ‘thing’. No one leaves the house without their water bottle.
- Get them involved with purchasing a water bottle that they like and that excites them.
What about the fancy, well-marketed sports drinks, sodas and sugary fruit juices? How do we handle this?
Answer is – we simply need to educate them. We need to tell our children the truth and how, yes, Max your best mate might be having coke zero or sugary drink but, love – you aren’t.
Ask your child if they like going to the dentist or doctor? If they answer no – then a simply reply is “then this is why we don’t drink that stuff” It ruins your teeth and makes your ‘insides really unhappy’(even talk about the diseases that come with overconsumption of these drinks - heart disease, diabetes etc). Educate them that if they get in to bad habits now and get addicted to this stuff then long term their body will not be as happy and healthy. Sugar (and fake sugar) and caffeine is extremely addictive so once they start it is very hard to stop. Talk to them about this and action it so they are not surrounded by the stuff… So:
- Never have bottles of juice in the fridge
- Never keep soft drinks at home
- Never drink it yourself!! If they see you drinking it well you have no hope!
- Find alternatives – i.e. kombucha, coconut water and our hydration powder!
Obviously, it is hard to keep your children 100% off sugar and these forms of drinks and you can’t shield them all the time. Educate them on how it effects their body as explained above and give them their own power to make well informed, bright choices and commend them on this. Perhaps let them have a pure fruit juice or a healthier form of soda on super special occasions but do your best to keep their intake extremely low. Keep it as real ‘treat’ only food but not a ‘weekly’ treat thing…. remember little bits do add up….
Don’t let them fall in love with these forms of drinks.
Make them WANT TO drink. Make it fun!
- Make it tasty! – Franjos hydration powder they will love!
- Add pure lemon juice
- Sliced up fresh lemon, lime or orange and pop in their water
- Add fresh mint leaves
- Add ice! Kids love ice ;-)
- Try kombucha or coconut water
- Use their favourite water bottle
- Get them to make up a big jug of water with citrus slices and mint leaves or the Franjos Hydration powder for the family to drink from over the weekends or special occasions
- Praise them, tell them how well they are doing and their body will be really grateful
Kids need hydration just as much if not more than adults. We need to get them in to good habits early and understanding why I believe is the key for them to get on board. The Essences of life blog discusses the importance of water and electrolytes and I really encourage you to help your children focus on hydration in addition to yourself.
Our hydration powder is wonderful for children, it is a combination of natural plant materials and coconut water. With is delicious flavour you will have no problem with the kids liking it. The extra nutritional benefits we hope will hydrate them more adequately than just water alone so it is a win win!.
Good luck! Parenting is the hardest job out there but if you can chip away with the positive reinforcement, be a great role model and educate them on the importance of hydration in a fun and open way then fingers crossed it will sink in and positive habits will form.