Up to 80 per cent of Aussies regularly suffer from dehydration, with most not even realising it, according to a recent study. And three-quarters of parents admit they are worried their children don’t drink enough water.
know the symptoms
Dehydration can lead to headaches, lethargy, muscle cramps, constipation, lack of concentration and mood swings.
As kids have comparatively more bodily fluids than adults and their bodies don’t cool down as efficiently, they get dehydrated much more quickly. They also tend to be more active and would rather continue playing than stop for a drink.
keeping kids hydrated
The US Institute of Medicine recommends that youngsters aged between four and eight years old should have about seven cups of water a day, nine to 13-year-old girls should drink nine cups, while boys of the same age need 10 cups. Boys between 14 and 18 need around 14 cups, while girls should drink 10.
Giving children a drink bottle is all very well, but too often it gets cast aside and forgotten. We looked at seven clever ways to keep kids hydrated.
1. reboot the fruit
Most fruits have a high water content, especially watermelon, grapefruit, strawberries, pineapple, peaches, raspberries, and oranges. But if they’re just drinking the juice, they’re getting all the sugars, but not the nutrients.
That’s why smoothies are so great. As there’s so much pulp and flesh in them, add about a cup of chilled water from your BIBO Water Bar for every three cups of smoothie. If you have a juicer, blend in some carrot or celery juice too.
2. hot, hot, hot!
Hot drinks are just as hydrating as cold ones! A cola or lemonade is packed with sugar so can actually raise the body’s temperature. Get older kids to try a hot sugar-free cordial to top up their fluids. Just set your BIBO Water Bar to around 80 degrees so it’s warm enough without being scalding.
3. soup it up
Vegies are also a great way to keep kids hydrated. Why not hold a soup making competition where they get to choose the ingredients from an array of vegetables and then cook it themselves?
The tastiest bowl gets a prize. Try it with cucumber, celery, zucchini, green cabbage, tomato, carrots and green peas.
4. get fizz-ical
A glass of room temperature water isn’t appetising to most youngsters, so put some sparkle into it with a Soda Stream. You don’t even need the flavourings – a few slices of orange or some liquidised berries will make a delicious refresher. And your BIBO Water Bar gives you chilled, purified water in an instant.
5. bring out the sludge
For the ultimate cooler-offer on a baking-hot day, give them a frozen berry sludge. For a start, what kid could resist something called sludge? Just whizz some frozen raspberries, strawberries or blueberries in your blender with some ice cubes and a dollop of honey, then top it up with soda water.
6. have the potty talk
The most obvious symptom of dehydration is dark coloured urine. Make sure your little ones know that if that’s what they see in the toilet bowl, they need to have a couple of glasses of water. For toddlers it can even be made into a game. How light can they make their wee go?
7. get them a water drinking app
Yes, there are loads of fun apps that aim to get kids hydrated through cool games, fascinating charts and statistics. There are 10 free ones here.