Stay Hydrated and Healthy: Best Ways to Keep Your Little Ones Engaged and Refreshed

Did you know that up to 60% of an adult’s body weight comes from water? In children, this percentage is even higher, with newborns having up to 83%. Our bodies rely on water to regulate body temperature, lubricate and cushion joints, and eliminate waste.

As the heat of summer surrounds us, it becomes vital to stay properly hydrated. Many kids are not particularly fond of water and may prefer alternatives such as juice, sugary soda pops, energy drinks, vitamin water, or sports drinks, which is not a good thing. The key to fostering healthy hydration habits is to create an environment where these alternatives are not readily available at home. Thankfully, parents are the ones in control of what is purchased at the store, so avoiding soft drinks, sports drinks, and other sugary beverages can eliminate the temptation altogether.

Encouraging children to develop a preference for drinking water from an early age is crucial. Kids who are solely accustomed to flavored drink options may eventually start to refuse water altogether. Understanding the dangers associated with tempting alternatives is essential.

The Downside of Soda and Energy Drinks

  • These beverage choices are typically laden with sugar or sugar substitutes.
  • A single can (12 ounces) can contain up to 10 teaspoons of sugar.
  • They often contain preservatives, artificial colors, and sulfites.
  • Many varieties contain caffeine, which acts as a diuretic and dehydrates the body. Caffeine can also raise heart rate and blood pressure, which is particularly concerning for children due to their smaller size.
  • Numerous studies have linked soda consumption to osteoporosis, obesity, tooth decay, and heart disease.

According to recommendations, children aged 2 and older should consume 4 to 8 cups of water daily. Additional amounts may be needed, especially on hot summer days or during physical activities. Young children are particularly susceptible to dehydration, often becoming dehydrated before they even feel thirsty. This is partly due to their higher body surface area compared to their mass and an underdeveloped “thirst detector” mechanism.

Best Ways to Help Keep Kids Hydrated

  • Keep cool water handy: Place a pitcher of water and cups within easy reach of where children are playing.
  • Lead by example: Children often mirror their parents’ behaviors, so displaying good hydration habits yourself can make a significant impact.
  • Equip kids with a water bottle: Provide your children with a water bottle when they head out for activities and sports; putting it in your child’s busy bag would be the easiest way to go.
  • Keep water bottles filled and chilled: Store water bottles in the refrigerator, ready for quick and easy access.
  • Encourage water or low-fat milk with meals and snacks: Make it a habit for children to have a glass of water or low-fat milk with their meals or snacks.
  • Bedtime water: Place a glass of water by their bedside, making it convenient for them to stay hydrated even during the night.
  • Drinking cup in the bathroom: Keep a drinking cup within reach in the bathroom for use while brushing teeth.
  • Healthy homemade popsicles: Make your own popsicles using pureed fruits to provide a hydrating and refreshing treat.
  • Dilute juices with water: To reduce sugar intake, dilute juices with an equal amount of water, offering a more hydrating option.

Try Infused Water

Infused water adds a burst of flavor to encourage hydration. To make infused water:

  1. Pick your flavor combination.
  2. Add the ingredients to a pitcher and let it chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Drink up!

Experiment with these tasty combinations to naturally infuse water with hydrating flavors:

  • Lemon Berry: Thinly sliced lemons and strawberry slices.
  • Cucumber Mint: Thinly sliced cucumbers and muddled mint leaves.
  • Watermelon Basil: Finely chopped watermelon (without the rind) and muddled basil.
  • Cherry Lime: Slice cherries in half (remove pit) and thinly sliced limes.

Eat Water-Rich Foods

While fluids are crucial for hydration, not all sources need to come from a bottle or faucet. Encourage the consumption of water-rich foods found in the produce department. Many fruits and vegetables have a high water content (at least 85%) and can provide an excellent source of hydration in addition to drinking water.

Water-Rich Foods:

  • Cucumber = 95%
  • Lettuce = 95%
  • Celery = 95%
  • Radish = 95%
  • Zucchini = 95%
  • Tomato = 94%
  • Watermelon = 92%
  • Strawberry = 92%
  • Spinach = 92%
  • Grapefruit = 91%
  • Broccoli = 91%
  • Cantaloupe = 90%
  • Peach = 88%
  • Orange = 87%
  • Pineapple = 87%
  • Blueberry = 85%

Encourage your little ones to stay deliciously hydrated with these simple and effective tips. By prioritizing water and water-rich foods, along with a balanced diet, you can ensure your child’s well-being and instill healthy hydration habits for a lifetime. Stay hydrated and healthy this summer! 

At Paramus Daycare, we take pride in providing a nurturing environment where your child’s health and happiness are our top priorities. By offering infused water, hydration stations, tasty snacks, creative activities, personalized water bottles, and more, we make sure that staying hydrated is not only easy but enjoyable for your little ones. Through fun and informative methods, we instill the value of proper hydration, ensuring that your child develops healthy habits that last a lifetime. Let us embark on this journey together, keeping your child deliciously hydrated every step of the way!Contact us to discover more about our nurturing environment, dedicated to your child’s health and happiness.



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