Raising healthy kids and setting them up with good eating and drinking habits can be tricky. Everyone knows it’s important that growing kids are nourished by eating the right foods. Have you considered that the quality of water they drink also plays a part in their development?
Water is very important for kids’ overall health and is essential to maintaining a well-balanced diet. Staying adequately hydrated can help your kids both physically and mentally. Kids should drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day. However, it is worth thinking about the quality and not so beneficial added ingredients of drinks aimed at children.
Water vs Other Drinks
If your child complains that they are thirsty, the best option is to offer them a glass of water. Water will hydrate without having any nasty side effects such as unnecessary trips to the dentist. It goes without saying that fizzy drinks, both sugar free and original versions, are bad for dental health due to their acidity. Shockingly, a 354ml serving of regular Coca-Cola contains almost 10 teaspoons of sugar!
You may think that fruit juice is a good alternative to water, however this should also be limited as it too is acidic and can damage tooth enamel. A piece of fruit is preferable to a glass of fruit juice as the natural fruit sugars enter the bloodstream more slowly when accompanied by fruit fibre.
Good Sources of Water
So you’ve opted to encourage your kids to drink more water. Now you are confronted with the choice of bottled, tap or filtered water. Which one do you pick? Bottled water has long been thought to be superior to tap water; however it’s no longer the case. Bottled water contributes to plastic pollution and may contain higher levels of micro-plastics.
There have been concerns recently regarding the safety of tap water. The allowable level of chemicals found within UK tap water is deemed as being too high by scientists. Therefore, to ensure your kids are getting the safest possible source of water, filtered water is the way forward.
Water filters can help to remove and reduce dangerous chemicals such as lead, chlorine and pathogens found in tap water. These are not only toxic when ingested but can aggravate skin conditions after showering. Shower water filters are ideal for children as their sensitive skin is often prone to skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Benefits of Water
Now you know which water source is best for your family, it’s time to get into action. As a general rule, 4 to 13 year olds should aim to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid a day. Younger children need smaller servings, for example: a 150ml glass for a 4-year-old and 250ml for an older child.
Water is beneficial for healthy kids in many ways. Mentally, proper hydration can help kids’ stay focused at school, alert and improves cognitive functioning and also grades! It can also help keep their bodies at safe and healthy temperatures and helps their immune systems. As your kids grow into teenagers remind them that drinking enough water is the key to clear skin and can help prevent acne.
Kids can be picky and getting them to stay hydrated can be problematic. Here are a few ways you can try to top up their water intake:
- Incorporate a wide variety of fruit and vegetable into their diet as many of these have high water content and help contribute to your child’s daily water requirements.
- Natural flavoured water is an option for truly fussy kids who hate the taste of plain water. Try adding berries, citrus fruit slices, cucumber or mint to filtered water to encourage them to drink up.
- Lead by example, if they see you drinking water regularly it may encourage them to copy your actions. Also, providing them with their own special glass or bottle may help your kids drink water more often.
Filtering your tap water provides many health benefits for the whole family. It helps to remove contaminants and chemicals, and is also environmentally-friendly. Thinking of getting a water filter for your home? Take a look at our starter products such as the AquaVort, one of our single point of use water filters and softener systems.