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Water and Your Child

My child isn't really fond of drinking water, and although he drinks some when he is thirsty, I do wish that he would drink more water, especially in the hot, dry, summer months. What can I do to make him drink more H2O, so he is well hydrated?

Any beverage helps your child get rid of his thirst, but water is what the body needs the most at this time and it should be your child's first choice when he is thirsty. It plays a vital role in flushing out waste and in circulating nutrients throughout the body. In addition, children run around a lot more than adults do, and basically sweat out all the toxins from their system. If your child is dehydrated, he will not perspire and his body temperature will soar. So, children need to get re-hydrated pretty regularly to keep their systems strong and healthy, and for this, they need to ensure they drink sufficient water.

Here are some ways in which you can get your child to increase his water intake.

If your child refuses to drink plain water, try giving her watered down juice. You can start with giving her a glass of half juice and half water, and slowly, over the course of a couple of weeks, reduce the quantity juice and increase the quantity of water.

Children prefer cold water to water at room temperature, so ensure you keep enough cold water in the refrigerator. Better yet, get your child a fancy water bottle of his choice and keep this in a visible place in the refrigerator. Every time your child opens the door for a chocolate or in search of goodies, he will be tempted to take a few sips of water from his bottle.

Most people, including children, do like to sip something during their meals. Although opinion is varied regarding the benefits of drinking water at mealtimes, it is far better that your child drinks water with meals than drinks insufficient water.

Discourage your child from drinking a soft drink with his meals. Soft drinks are not good for you, at all, and they should only be had once in a while, on a day out or when guests are over. A squash like Tang or Rasna with fortified vitamins and calcium would be preferable to a soft drink, as a glass would contain mostly water along with flavoured sugar.

Lemon juice with honey instead of sugar would be a great choice, so try and get your child's taste buds accustomed to this drink early on. If your child develops a taste for this, it would be something he can relish for the rest of his life.

If your child is not lactose intolerant, give him a glass of salted lassi with his meals or a couple of hours after his lunch. Lassi is cooling, and the salt will help with water retention. Also, lassi makes a great alternative to drinking water. You can water down the lassi so that the glass is filled mostly with water.

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