School’s back in session, and for those of you who have kids, it’s an exciting time of the year.
Your kids are going to be very active this year, especially if they participate in sports or other extracurricular activities. More activity means a higher chance of becoming dehydrated, which can affect their energy levels and mood – thereby affecting their academic performance.
No one wants their kids to underperform in school over something as basic as not drinking enough water. So, there’s no better time than the present to start the school year off right with good hydration habits.
Get Kids in the Habit of Drinking Water
You probably see your kids twice a day when school is in session: in the morning, before they leave for school, and in the afternoon/evening, when they get home.
Start the day off right by having your kids drink water before they leave. If they can drink an entire glass of water, that’s a huge first step. They should drink a glass when they get home and a glass at dinner, at a minimum.
That’s not enough, of course; kids need to drink more than three glasses of water a day. So, if the school allows, send them with a full reusable water bottle and have them drink from it throughout the day.
If you can establish a habit – one glass of water with every meal to start – then you can help make sure they stay hydrated.
Make Water More Fun with Infusions
For kids, water isn’t nearly as exciting to drink as fruit juice, soda, or sports drinks. And although our fresh spring water tastes great, kids these days may prefer a different taste if they’re going to be drinking it all the time like we want them to.
So, try infused water drinks. These have fruits infused into them, like strawberry, orange, raspberry, grape, and lime. You can actually do this at home and it’s pretty easy. Kids like the extra taste, it’s healthy for them, and they’re more likely to stay hydrated.
Get Hydrated By Eating (Yes, Eating)
Drinking water is a great way to get hydrated, naturally, but we actually get a lot of our hydration from what we eat.
You can get your kids to do the same by encouraging them to eat healthy snacks. Fruits contain a lot of water and fiber, which is why it’s better to eat fresh fruit than to drink fruit juice. You can also turn to foods like celery and tomatoes. Fresh fruits and vegetables have lots of hydrating power, and they’re well worth placing in your kid’s lunch.
As a general tip, try to stay away from sports drinks unless your kids are participating in outdoor activities and are losing a lot of fluid. Sports drinks have a ton of sugar in them, and while they do a good job of providing electrolytes to your kids after they’ve lost a lot of electrolytes to sweat, too much sugar is unhealthy and you’re trading one health problem for another.
Get your kids in habit of drinking plenty of water and eating lots of healthy, hydrating foods and you’re set to have a great year – hydration-wise, of course. (Drinking water won’t make your kids do their homework. That’s up to them.)