Our bodies are 70% water. It is the prime ingredient needed by every single organ of our body. In infants and toddlers, the intake of adequate water is as important as is proper diet. Infants under 6 months of age do not need water as their water intake is entirely met by breastmilk. Those beyond 6 and 12 months need water to function well, stay active, digest their food, cognitive development, and maintaining weight.
Karl W. Holtzer, a paediatrician with the Pediatric Alliance Fox Chapel Division in Pittsburgh, suggests that toddlers need 2-3 ounces of water per day for each pound of their body weight. However, the maximum amount is limited to 8-10 cups a day. The requirement changes with the weather and they might need more water in summers than winters. Active kids need to take more water before and during any physical activity.
Apart from giving water in boring cups, other ways that can be used to increase water and maintain adequate hydration in toddlers and children include:
- Milk, smoothies, and shakes are excellent sources of nutrients and contain copious amounts of water as well.
- Kids adore fancy cups, straws, and sippy mugs. You can facilitate drinking by getting some of their favourite cups to drink from.
- You can add a dash of flavour if your little ones just do not like water, such as water infused with fruit and vegetables, and unflavored soda.
- Offer food rich in water content, such as watermelon, melon, oranges, strawberries, and cucumbers as snacks.
- Make popsicles out of fresh fruit, and your kids will love them.
- Lastly, always carry water bottles with you whenever you step out with your little ones. Do not wait for them to be thirsty enough to ask for water, because by the time they will feel thirsty, they would already be 3% dehydrated.
Happy drinking everyone!