Bottoms up

Here are a few tips to get children to drink more water


After every snack, give the child water to drink. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

There are several mums who complain about their children not eating enough fruits and veggies. And then there are children who do not like to drink water, which is not such a good thing.

Sreemathy Venkatraman, a clinical dietician and nutritionist says: “The main reason for this is that children have not been habituated to drink more water. Children prefer aerated drinks but these drinks have loads of sugar and sometimes caffeine too.”

Sreemathy suggests giving children water stored in mud pots as it is flavourful and cool. Dr. Prakash Vemgal, consultant paediatrician says, “Educating children on the benefits of drinking water results in better consumption.

There is also a cultural shift in the society’s preference to juices and sugar loaded drinks which need to be minimized. One can try simple techniques like offering filtered rather than boiled water. Keep a chart of the daily water intake and try to increase it by being an example yourself.

After every snack, give the child water to drink.” Here are some more ways to get your child to drink more water

Cartoon cups

Most moms probably are trying this already. A cup or a sipper that has your child’s favourite cartoon character on it might just make water a little more attractive.

Accessibility matters

Ensure you place a mug of water with a bottle or a glass with water somewhere where your child can reach easily. Every time he finishes it, be prompt to refill the glass and remind him to have another glass in an hour’s time.

Limit the options

Don’t stock beverages like colas or sweetened drinks at home. Even if you want to offer sweetened beverages once in a while, try and dilute the liquid with parts of water.

Read a story

Find a story that features a story of a character like ‘Potter the otter-A tale about water’. Or create a short, colourful self-made storybook that has a character who is healthy and wise as he has lots of water.

Be an example

Children learn by seeing adult behaviour. Make sure you have water at regular intervals and encourage the child to do so with you.

Make a game

Children of four and above can have a game of pouring water from a small pitcher to small glasses or paper cups and set a target of finishing at least five cups in one day.

If getting your child to drink more water is still a daunting task, then increase their fluid intake with fruit juices without sugar, tender coconut, soups, seasonal fruits like watermelons and muskmelons and beverages like buttermilk or nimbu paani.

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