Water is crucial to your child’s health and development. It hydrates the body, helps regulate body temperatures, prevents constipation, and reduces the chances of urinary tract infections, amongst other things. However, trying to get your child to opt for the healthier option over a ‘tastier’ fizzy soft drink or fruit juice can be quite difficult at the best of times.
The recommended daily intake of water for a child aged between one and three is around half a litre, so how do you convince your tot to meet this level on a routine basis? One of the first places to start is to ensure that water is largely the only available option when they want a drink. Make sure that when they are reaching out for a drink, the only thing in sight is water. It is also important not to give in when they say they don’t want to drink it. Give them a filled cup with every meal or snack in order to try and encourage them to consume it as much as possible. Even if they don’t drink the water all the time, keep giving it to them as the only option, and eventually they will realise it’s the only thing for them to drink at mealtime. If you’re still having difficulty, you can try to infuse your water with fresh fruit or berries – such as apples, strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers or lemons. This will add an extra level of flavour to the water, without increasing the sugar content, and will make it more appealing to taste for a child.
Finally, if this doesn’t work and you’re still struggling to get your child to up their water intake, you may have to try and incorporate it more into your cooking processes. That could include making potential dishes like porridge or soup runnier, or watering down their bottled milk or formula accordingly, so they’ll reach their requirement unknowingly.
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