Encouraging Your Toddler To Drink Water

There’s a reason why water is an integral part of the body. It is the fountainhead of life and the source of all growth. But helping toddlers drinking too much water is a job easier said than done. Water for toddlers not only makes muscles function efficiently, but it also helps the brain to function optimally. It isn’t uncommon for parents to believe that it is alright for their children to skip on the water as long as they’re drinking milk or other flavored beverages. While it is true that milk, juice, and other soft drinks contribute to the body’s water requirement; their intake should be limited. When it comes to encouraging children to drink water, the golden rule of parenting applies – Practice What You Preach! Children find it easy to accept things when you lead by example; hence make sure that you say yes to plain water than sugary or fizzy drinks.

  • Introduce the Fun Element:-

Serve water in colorful bottles and glasses. Sippy cups or straw cups with your child’s favorite cartoon characters are also a good idea. Children, especially toddlers love to play with pots and pans. Use this as an opportunity and fill spoons and spatulas with a little water. But you will have to be careful about the utensils they use (bowls, spoons, and spatulas are safe, but pots and pans aren’t).

  • Make Water Readily Available:-

Keep water bottles around the house, especially in the bedroom and the living room. Toddlers are a busy lot and tend to ignore thirst. Placing a bottle of water close to the child signals his mind to reach for it when feeling thirsty. As a parent, you should Feed them water-rich food that includes fruits like watermelon and strawberries in a child’s diet. Soups offer nourishment and a great idea to fill kids with fluids.

  • Offer Healthy Alternatives:-

Buttermilk is a great coolant and aids in digestion. It also helps combat dehydration and is a great source of calcium (without the fat found in milk and yogurt). It helps the body to stay cool and also combats acidity. 

Do’s And Don’ts When Getting Kids Into Drinking Water:

(i) Sippy Cup Alert: Sippy cups help children make the transition from bottles to cups. But overusing these cups can lead to dental problems. Avoid service juice or sugary beverages in these cups, especially before bedtime. Serve only water in sippy/straw cups.

(ii) Avoid Tea, Coffee and Liquids Containing Caffeine: Tea, coffee and liquids containing caffeine are stimulants and hence not suitable for children. These beverages cause temporary alertness, but may later make them drowsy and dull. Similarly, energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar and are hence not suitable for children. 

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