Teach Them To Drink Water!
I heard once from a dietitian that one of the best, easiest things that you can teach your child is to drink water. Louder for those in the back: Teach your kids to drink water! Easy, that's it!
While there are so many opinions and factors behind being "healthy," I couldn't agree more.
If I can equip my kids with this small thing to positively impact their future health, then I’m in.
What does it look like for my family?
In our home, my kids know that there are always two choices available: milk or water. That's
what they're used to and what they expect, making it easy to limit sugar-sweetened beverages to special occasions (birthdays, parties, holidays, etc.). Plus side, I’m not working sugary drinks into my grocery budget, it's easier to clean up spills, and it’s one less thing to fuel toddler tantrums!
2. Make it fun and convenient
Although I consider myself an aspiring minimalist, I'm here for ALL the water bottles and cups. Colorful, straw or no straw, 360° top, spout, rainbow cup, you name it (hello, dollar store!). My toddler is SO happy to choose her own water cup (until the next time it needs to be washed) and knows to keep it "in its spot." By having a pretty cup and a designated place to keep it on the counter, both of us know where it is and we’re more likely to stay hydrated. Throw in some ice, a squirt of lemon juice or some frozen blueberries for “fancy water” in our house!
3. Be the example
Probably the most effective way to make drinking water the norm is doing it myself. Even when I may not think my girls are paying attention, they’re incredibly perceptive of the choices I make each day.
4. Talk about the “why”
After a walk, while playing outside, or whenever the opportunity presents itself, I’ll try to
remember to throw in why it’s a good idea to drink water. Simplifying into toddler terms, I think it’s so important to teach my kids “water helps keep us hydrated so our bodies can work the right way” or, “water helps us cool off if we’re sweaty from playing outside.” In the end I want my kids to know that our body is something to take care of and water is an excellent choice!
I’m a wife and a mom to three - two girls and the sweetest rescue dog, Duke. I love being home with my two girls and finding new ways to stay busy in this pandemic! I believe in the power of consistency; preventing problems is much easier than treating them!
More posts by Annabelle:
Quick and easy iron-rich foods
How having small goals has helped our family stay active
Want more information on this topic? wichealth.org has a free online lesson called Fun and Healthy Drinks for Kids. Find it on wichealth.org in the Children Ages 1-5 category!