When the water bottle comes home from school filled to the brim, it’s obvious that my daughter has not wet her whistle that day.
Getting my younger kids to drink water is an on-going battle. Juice and soda they welcome, but water? Forget it. The problem is, I don’t buy much soda, and I try to limit the intake of juice. Milk is a healthy option that they like, but the gallons seem to disappear quickly at our house.
So, what’s a kid to drink? Water.
The problem is, plain old water doesn’t fizz, sparkle, or come in purple or orange hues. Some of my kids complain that water tastes “gross,” or has no taste. Their young palates don’t appreciate an ice-cold glass of water. They don’t understand the benefits of drinking from the tap.
In simple terms, here are 4 teachings that you can share with your kids about drinking water.
1. When you don’t drink enough, your body gets thirsty and can’t function properly.
Your body is composed of about 60 percent water. Your brain is made up of about 75 percent water. That is a lot of water.
Tell your kids that the body needs water to complete its basic tasks, like creating saliva, digesting food, maintaining a proper body temperature, and transporting nutrients.
Think about all the ways the body loses water each day: sweating, urinating, bowel movements, and even breathing. Replacing those fluids with water is extremely important.
2. Drinking plenty of water prevents obesity.
When your kids say they feel hungry, they may actually be thirsty. Drinking water helps us feel full.
Also, with calories and sugar added to soda, juice and sports drinks, drinking water can help keep the pounds off.
The diseases associated with obesity, such as Type 2 diabetes, are difficult to treat. They are easier to prevent. More and more children are becoming obese, which is due in part to genetics, but also lifestyle choices.
Exercising, eating nutritious meals and snacks and drinking lots of water can help kids maintain a healthy body and weight. When the body is well hydrated, kids are less likely to indulge in sugary foods.
3. Drinking water helps you be a better thinker.
Sugar and caffeine are often used as pick-me-ups, but they cause tiredness soon after. Stress to your kids that when they drink water, they’re able to learn better at school. They’re able to solve abstract problems easier and have sharper memories.
Drinking water helps kids concentrate better and for a longer duration in the classroom. It helps them be better students and have more energy.
4. Want your skin and hair to look pretty? Drink water.
Appeal to your daughter’s vanity by emphasizing that the models and celebrities she admires drink a lot of water. Water hydrates the skin and gives it a glow. It makes us look fresher and younger. It cleanses toxins from the body and makes our skin look clean and clear.
Water also helps our hair. Does your daughter want hair that’s soft and silky or dry and brittle?
Help your kids see the value in good old H2O. As they turn more to the tap and less often to juice and soda, they will be healthier and your grocery bill will, too.
Megan Gladwell is an Indiana native and mother of four. She blogs at bookclub41.blogspot.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.