Their bodies may be smaller, but that doesn’t mean they can skimp on drinking water. In fact, it’s more important than ever, experts say, to make sure children are properly hydrated.
“The standard recommendations are for children to get six to eight glasses of water per day,” says Dr. Melina Jampolis, CNNHealth’s Diet and Fitness expert. “Mild dehydration can affect learning as well as mental and physical performance.”
Supporting Jampolis’ contention is a recent Tufts University study that found that children who are even mildly thirsty can become cranky. For older, school-age children, dehydration — even at low levels — can mean impaired cognitive function, says lead researcher Kristen D’Anci, PhD.
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The following tips may give concerned parents ideas on how to help kids guzzle more of what’s good for them.
- Make water easily accessible. Place a pitcher in the refrigerator, have water bottles out, waiting, and ready to be filled, or have bottled water handy.
- Take it to go. Kids model what they see, so whenever you and your wee ones are on the go, make sure you take water for yourself and your child. If you’re taking sips of water throughout the day, chances are, they will too. And don’t stop at car rides, take water on family picnics and walks and to the park and other outings.
- Serve water-rich foods. Many good-for-you-foods, such as soup, fruit and milk, contain 80 to 90 percent water. Watermelon, for instance, is usually a kid-friendly favorite and a great water-logged fruit.
Alkame Water, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Alkame Holdings, Inc., has provided this information.