With the summer heat and the possibility of being easily dehydrated, drinking water becomes a must. Note, however, that water intake should not decrease during the winter season. We all know that water is an essential and vital resource for a human’s survival. It occupies almost 60% of a male body and almost 50% of a female’s. (http://people.chem.duke.edu/~jds/cruise_chem/water/watdiet.html) We hear a lot about the importance of drinking 8 glasses of water a day. However, when I looked deeply into the matter, I learned a few interesting ideas about its importance for grownups and children as well. No person can survive without drinking water for 3 to 5 days, though he/she can survive without eating for almost a week.
I will briefly summarize a few significant benefits of having enough water on a daily basis, and suggest some notions on how to encourage your children to get into the good habits of drinking more water.
The Benefits of Water:
Water acts as an appetite suppressant, so it is suggested that you drink water before every meal which helps in an average reduction in intake of 75 calories per meal. In addition, drinking more water helps your body stop water retention which leads to the dropping off of those extra grams of water weight. (www.life.gaiam.com)
Revives the Skin:
Not enough studies confirm the idea that drinking 9.5 cups of water a day gives you a radiant glow like Hollywood stars. Yet, clinically speaking a hydrated skin looks plumper and healthier. Julius Few, M.D., director of The Few Institute and clinical professor of plastic surgery at the University of Chicago says, “Moisturizing your skin both internally and externally is a critical combination for healthy, beautiful skin.” In this case it is essential to keep using your creams. (www.womenshealthmag.com)
Helps in Digestion:
The digestive system needs to be well hydrated for a proper digestion. However, drinking water during the meal reduces the amount of acid in the stomach and does not help in digesting properly. It is better to drink either before eating or after a meal in thirty minutes.
How to encourage your kids to drink water?
I usually introduce water to my children when they are almost four months old, despite the fact that I breastfeed. The main idea is for them to get used to its taste and come to like it.
Water in attractive cups:
Providing your children with attractive cups might persuade them into drinking more water. Adding a novelty straw, or funny shaped ice cubes will also encourage them into liking water. I came across this creative idea which I found smart and interesting in encouraging children to drink water.
Set a role model:
If you are parent who drinks fizzy drinks in the mornings, your children will come to find this habit normal and acceptable. Try to set a good example by having at least a cup of water early every morning and plenty during the day. It is best if you can avoid having soft drinks at home and of course never offer your kids a fizzy drink if they are thirsty.
Discuss the benefits of water:
You can plan a project at home where you can initiate a research along with your child. Through fun activities he/she will learn about the advantages of water and the chance of acquiring good habits increases. Discovery through play ensures learning.
Make it available:
Providing your children with an easy and practical access to water gives them the chance of drinking water systematically. With all the water coolers that are provided in our region, children will always have an easy access to drink more water. All you need to do is have the cups ready for them. At home, we also have water bottles distributed in almost every room in the house. By doing so, our kids find it easy to drink more water during the day.
Add a natural flavour:
In case your child finds it difficult to drink water, as a first step offer him/her a naturally flavoured one using fruits like berries or vegetables like lemon. You can also freeze some mint leaves or raspberries in an ice cube and pluck them into their cups. Gradually, try to remove any flavouring so your child gets used to the natural taste of water.
What does your pee say?
Explain to your kids how the color of the urine is an indicator for water intake. Set a challenge for them where they should drink enough water for the urine to become light or almost clear, and I am certain that this challenge will be of great help.
Building good habits start early in life. The wider the awareness we provide our children with, the better their lifestyle becomes.