During the hot months of the year, when temperatures can climb up over 30°C, we shouldn’t forget to drink enough water. But what about our children? In this article, we’d like to bring you an overview of how much liquid children should drink a day, as well as which drinks are suitable for them.
The average daily water requirement
During hot days when we sweat a lot, it’s recommended to increase the advised amounts of water by at least 0,5 l. This also applies to children who spend most of their time playing outside.
Plain water is the best to quench thirst
During the first months of a child’s life, their mother’s milk is the source of all the nutrients they need. Later, plain and clean water should become should become the main source of liquids. In Slovakia, we have clean drinking water handy, we can drink directly from the tap. Though our water is clean and poses no health risk, you should boil it during the first three months, just to be sure. Baby water which you can buy in the store is also a good alternative but you should always make sure that the water you buy doesn’t contain any chemicals and has a low content of nitrites and nitrates. Do not buy bubbly water for your children and don’t add any sweet syrups. The sooner your children get used to plain water without any flavor, the better it is for their health.
Juice boxes? Don’t touch them.
You’ve probably seen commercials for various kinds of children’s juices and flavored waters that boast about the fact that they don’t contain any colorings or preservatives. Don’t be fooled. All of these drinks contain large amounts of sugar. Most of them don’t contain real fruit juice either and are made from a fruit concentrate. What does it mean? It means that, for example, oranges are squeezed first, the juice they get from them is dried and then water is added. This process destroys a large part of the vitamins the fruit would normally contain and you’re left with a sugary drink that vaguely tastes like an orange. Many of these drinks often boast that they contain vitamin C. This is true, but the vitamin is added to the drink later, it doesn’t come from the fruit itself. This is the case with most fruit juices and flavored drinks.
If you want to give your child fruit juice, prepare it at home from real fruit. Remember to always dilute the juice with water and keep in mind that squeezing fruit gets rid of the fiber the fruit would normally have. You will be giving your child vitamins but also a big dose of sugar and no fiber. Ideally, you should try to make smoothies. It doesn’t take long and you’ll be sure that your child is getting the best of fruits and vegetables. Simply throw half of a banana and some fruit into a blender and dilute with water, the smoothie will be done in a few minutes and it will contain all of the vitamins, minerals, fiber, amino acids, and natural sugars that get lost if you squeeze fruit. The sugar in a smoothie is better than the sugar in a juice box from the store because it’s not concentrated. Try to change around the fruits and vegetables you use for smoothies to see what your child likes the most.
Smoothies and home-made fruit juices are great but you shouldn’t overdo it. One smoothie per day is enough. Instead, offer your child plain water or herbal tea without sugar.
Motivate your children to drink more
Be an example to your children and drink enough yourself. Offer your children water even when they don’t ask for it themselves. Always have a bottle of water with you. Smaller children should always have their water in a bottle so you can measure hos much they’re drinking.