Getting your kids to drink water can be more of a struggle than getting them to eat their vegetables! However, water is crucial for the body to function properly, especially for our martial arts students! It’s important for kids who are involved in high intensity workouts to not just drink the usual eight ounces of water a day, but to drink even more to compensate for water loss from sweat during class. So, how can you make drinking water their choice, rather than a battle? These five tips are sure to help your kids stay hydrated!
1. Buy a Fun Water Bottle
Kids love to pick out new toys and what is even better? When the toy features a character they know from books or television. There are tons of creative water bottles available that incorporate familiar characters to your children, glitter, glow in the dark features, or sports. Let your child pick out a water bottle that is all their own and make sure to consistently fill it up with water. Make sure this water bottle is only for water. Tell your child that if they would like to use their new fun piece of gear that they can only drink water out of it - no juice, or soda. Send your child to school with this water bottle and make sure to fill it up as soon as they get home so that they will use it around the house and not forget about hydrating!
2. Fun Ice Cubes
Kids often complain about drinking water because they think that it is boring. Spruce up their water with some fun ice cube shapes. There are all kinds of ice cube trays that can make your kid’s drinks look fun! Another tip is that kids are more likely to drink ice water because the frigid water makes them think their thirst is being quenched more quickly. Try adding fruit into ice cube trays for fun colors and hints of flavor! You can also add fruit directly into their drinks for hints of lemon, orange, mint, or berries.
3. Diluting Juice
If your child doesn’t want to drink water because they prefer juice instead, try diluting their juice with water. If your child prefers soda, switch them to juice mixed with carbonated water and then slowly adjust them to an all-water beverage-diet. Additionally, stop purchasing juice and sodas for the house. Be a water role model for your kids and drink water with them. If there are no beverages besides water in the house, your children will adapt to their only option!
Explain to your children why water is the healthiest option. Show them the back of a juice or soda bottle and explain to them what the synthetic ingredients are and why they are bad for their bodies. Your children are training in martial arts, they want to be strong and powerful - but in order for their bodies to be the best they can be, they need to take care of themselves! There are many science experiments that allow children to see firsthand how soda damages simple household items. You can do these experiments with your children and let them know that if soda is corrosive to a penny, it is also corrosive to their teeth and the insides of their bodies!
5. Keep it Handy
Keep the water handy at all times for your children. If your kids can’t reach the sink or the counter that they leave their cups and water bottles on, they won’t continue to drink. Keep water in containers on easy-to-reach surfaces. If your kids are playing outside, keep water bottles near by and go out every 20 minutes and tell them to take a water break. Kids won’t want to miss any of the fun just to drink water, but if their game is on pause they will take the time to re-fuel.
Try these tips! Water is important to our little athletes. Starting good drinking habits early will help them to carry these tips into their adulthood!