Chances are, your kid’s not drinking the six to eight glasses of H2O he needs per day. In fact, at least 75 percent of children ages 4 to 8 don’t, according to a study in Nutrition Journal. That’s troublesome because fluids are just as important as food for staying healthy, explains Wesley Delbridge, R.D.N., spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Water is essential for almost everything that happens in our bodies,” he says. Encourage your kid to up his intake with Delbridge’s tips:
Serve Fluids Before Food
If your child clamors for a snack, hand her a glass of water first. Surprisingly, hunger is often the first sign of dehydration.
Make It Easy
Stash water bottles on a low shelf so kids can grab ‘em any time. Or get PhillUp, a plastic cup that comes with an adhesive hook, and hang it within easy reach of the fridge’s water dispenser. $8, Puj.com
Make a chart highlighting the amount of water you want your child to consume each day. Every time he downs a glass, give him a sticker. At the end of the week, he can earn a prize (such as a silly straw).
Amp Up the Flavor
If your child complains that plain water is ho-hum, add lemon or lime slices or drop in some berries. Just don’t rely heavily on store-bought favored waters, which are often full of added sugar and calories.
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