Hydration is my BIGGEST THING! I bang on about it so much, that I’m known as the hydration police in my house. I can regularly be found stalking my children around town, asking them (and their friends) if they have have drank enough water in the last few hours and, I worry more about my kids drinking enough (water that is) than eating enough. Before I continue, I would like to point out that all of my above efforts, methods, skills, crusades….. are in fact, useless. The more I nag, the less it’s likely to happen. But giving up is not an option and stacking ‘Hydration’ neatly under the ‘I tried, it didn’t work, they just don’t like water’ pile simply isn’t good enough. Here’s why…..
Aside from our bodies and minds feeling a lot better when we are hydrated and us all knowing that our body needs water to function, there are many other facts to take into consideration. There is LOTS of information on the internet about hydration and I urge you to take the time to research for yourself, but below are just some very simple, enough to make you reach for the ‘bottle’ reasons that we need to make hydrating ourselves as important as feeding ourselves.
- The body can only process nutrients, supplements and a whole host of internal bodily functions if you are hydrated. So you may reach for your very healthy breakfast in the morning and take your very expensive supplements, but without the body being adequately hydrated first, it’s actually quite pointless and can be a waste of the good stuff.
- The immune system can’t function properly when the body is dehydrated. There is actually a lot of evidence to suggest that disease and illness can only develop in the body if the body is dehydrated. We all know how tough it is when everyone is full of cough and colds in the house?….. Oh and all those over the counter kids medicines we use for high temps etc? Guess what? Full of ingredients that dehydrate the body. By keeping ourselves and our family hydrated we can keep our immune system firing on all cylinders.
- Being Hydrated – It makes us look good. Enough said. Bottoms up!!
To get kids drinking more water make it a little easy for them. Using straws are a big help in increasing fluid intake with kids. I always have a stash of straws in the kitchen and find that my kids will always drink double what they would if they were having it straight out of the glass. It’s a very simple thing, but it works, allow your kids to pick straws and keep a selection of different colours and designs to make it fun.
Try and get them into the habit of drinking a glass of room temperature water when they wake up. I drink a litre of warm water over the course of the morning before I even think about eating, this allows time for the system to flush toxins, wake up and then be ready to digest. If we encourage our children to do this from a young age then it will be a ritual that they will take with them into adulthood. I am not suggesting you get them to drink a litre of water but just to get them into the habit of drinking water at least 15 mins before they eat their breakfast. I use a small little drinking jar with a straw for Spike (5), he knows that he is to try and drink it before breakfast. It is easy for him to take sips while we are getting washed and dressed, and, by the time we are in the kitchen he is finishing off the last few sips while I make breakfast.
Begin to observe your little one’s behaviour. As you become aware of their hydration levels increasing, you may also notice a much more positive behaviour from them. When I’m dehydrated, I am fearful, anxious and irritable…why would it be different for small people?
Invest in a water filter. I recommend using a gravity filter for ease and affordability but there are many options out there if you do your research.
The main thing it to just begin.
Told you I was the ‘Hydration Police’!