help your kids drink (water) to their health

Mild dehydration can lead to health problems in children. — submitted photo

According to a study in the “Nutrition Journal,” children between the ages of 4 and 13 should be consuming four to six cups of water per every 1,000 calories they eat. Around 75 percent of dietary water comes from beverages and the remaining 25 percent comes from moisture in foods.

Yet only one in four U.S. children are getting the amount they need. Even mild dehydration can lead to health problems and trouble concentrating. For many parents, however, which drinks to offer their kids — and how to get their kids to drink them — can sometimes be a dilemma.

Here are a few tips to help keep kids happily hydrated:

• Chill out — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said to make more appealing, keep it cold in the fridge.

• Popsicle me — Make your own wholesome treats. Take fruit juice and pour into Popsicle molds. Pop in the freezer and in an hour or two you’ll have a healthful dessert or a mid-afternoon snack.

• Skip the caffeine — Soda may be a liquid but it’s actually dehydrating. A common ingredient in soft drinks is caffeine, which is a diuretic, causing a loss of fluids.

• Fruit saves the day — Fruit is a great way to help meet hydration needs, especially water-dense strawberries, grapefruit, cantaloupe, peaches, pineapple and, naturally, watermelon.

• Plan ahead — Stash water in your car. Carry water or another drink wherever you go and offer it to your kids when you think they’re thirsty. Even if they protest, ask them to take just a few sips. Chances are they’ll drink more.

• Favor the flavor — Add a slice of fruit for flavor. All too often, a major hurdle in getting kids to drink water is taste. A quick and easy way to add flavor is to infuse water with fruit. Slice fruit into a decanter of water and in no time you’ll have a tasty drink. Pick one fruit or experiment with a hybrid. What’s more, there are now two tasty USDA Organic–certified, Grape- and Fruit Punch–flavored waters that are 17 percent juice, with no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, so they can leave kids refreshed.

To further encourage kids to be sufficiently hydrated, these good2grow Juicy Waters come with a variety of collectible, reusable caps featuring some of the most popular characters in kids’ entertainment and fashion. They’re dishwasher safe, recyclable and BPA free. The four- and six-ounce-size bottles are fitted with special spill-proof SippaTop caps. — (NAPS)

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