How many times have you heard “I don’t like water” from kids? With all the other beverage options out there, water may not stand out as the most exciting choice. Here are seven ways you can make water fun to drink for kids to keep them hydrated and healthy!
Water doesn’t really have a taste, but there are SO many different fruits, vegetables and herbs that you can add to water to make it fun and flavorful. Try putting a mix of cucumber-mint, blueberry-orange, strawberry-basil, pineapple-raspberry, or lemon-grapefruit in your water. The options are endless, and you can always add more than two items to really enhance the flavor.
Fruit Water Stand
Instead of a lemonade stand as a fundraiser how about a fruit-infused water stand?! You can offer a variety of different fruit-infused waters and even provide recipe cards with the different combinations you made. Have the children come up with ideas for what flavors you can create and allow them to make the waters so that they can see how easy it can be. This is a great way to promote healthy hydration as well as raise funds for your school!
Fruit Ice Cubes
Regular ice cubes are a great way to keep our water cold but adding fruit, vegetables or herbs to your ice trays before putting them in the freezer is another way to make drinking water fun and flavorful! You can have your child help you cut up fruit like strawberries, pineapple, or oranges to add to the ice cubes. Throw in some herbs as well to really bring out the flavor of the fruits or vegetables you are using.
Reusable Water Bottle
Purchase a reusable water bottle. Your child can choose their own, based on their favorite show or character and fill it up before leaving for school, throughout the day and after school so that water is easily accessible for them. You can decorate it with your child’s name or stickers so that they can easily identify which bottle is theirs and to make it fun for them to drink out of!
Leading by example and drinking water as a parent can show your children how important healthy hydration is. Consuming water at meals and at other times throughout the day demonstrates how water is the healthy and easy choice. The more they see a parent choosing water, the more likely they are to choose it as well, this includes at home, at school or work, and when eating out at restaurants.
We all know the value of rewards or incentives when trying to get children to do something whether it be allowances for completed chores or prizes for good grades! Set up a chart for how much water you and your children should drink a day. At the end of the day, have everyone in the family color in how much water they drank and if the goal was met, reward your children with some sort of prize like a sticker. It incentivizes everyone in the family to stay hydrated and choose water.
If you or your children are drinking water from plastic or glass bottles it is important to recycle them! Recycling saves energy and resources, reduces the amount of trash going into landfills, and prevents pollution. Reward your children for recycling both at home and when you are out. Put a separate can in your home just for recycling and take the #BeRecycled pledge as a family!
Stephanie Hodges (MS, MPH, RDN) is the founder of The Nourished Principles, a public health and nutrition consulting business that provides services to clients to improve the nutrition and health status of individuals and populations.