Getting young children to drink good old fashioned water can be a challenge. On average, a five-year-old child should consume 3 – 5 glasses of water each day. But how best to do this, when the allure of sugary drinks like juice and soda is so strong?
For starters, consider that most juices, sports drinks and sodas average 20 – 40 grams of sugar, when most children should have no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of added sugar in a child’s diet, contributing to dental cavities, obesity and diabetes.
Tips to encourage children to drink water:
Let them choose a water bottle and carry it with them to school, parks and on walks. One with pictures of a beloved cartoon character can go a long way with young children.
Start a water chart. If they accomplish their weekly goals, reward them with a healthy treat at the end of that week.
Consider adding a slice of their favorite fruit to the water to jazz it up.
Making water more appealing and exciting to children can help prevent dental and other health issues from developing later. Starting these healthy habits at a young age sets a pattern that will continue into healthier adult life.
Source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
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