Milk, juice, and even fruit and vegetables contain important amounts of water that 'count' toward our total daily needs. Thirst is your body's signal that it needs more water, but often kids are too busy playing to stop for a drink.
The amount of water your children need each day depends on their age, weight, activity level, and gender. Also factor in the outside temperature and humidity. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the Kids' Total Daily Water Requirements chart as a starting point. When temperatures soar into the 90's, humidity rises, and your kids are outside all day playing, their water needs will increase above these levels. Kids don't sweat as much as adults, increasing their risk of dehydration. Provide an additional 4-6 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes when your kids are active.
Tips to make sure your kids stay hydrated:
- Keep cold water in refillable water bottles in the fridge.
- When your kids are outside playing, keep a cooler filled with water bottles within easy reach.
- Include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Not only are they high in water, they're an important source of vital nutrients.Advertisement
- Avoid serving sweetened beverages and instead encourage your children to enjoy drinking plain water to quench their thirst.
Lynn Grieger, RD, CDE, CPT is a health, food and fitness coach in Manchester and online at www.LynnGrieger.com. She keeps a cooler in her car for her ever-present water bottle.