Kids need water. We all do! Especially for active little bodies. In fact, staying hydrated is the key to staying heathy and happy, and not only during the summer months. Good hydration habits are important in the winter months too, by boosting the immune system and preventing kids from getting sick during the peak cold and flu seasons.
Yet making sure that our kids are drinking enough water in the throes of winter is no easy feat. It can get complicated: explaining to children why they need to drink when they are not feeling thirsty or even feeling hot. On top of this, good hydration not only helps their bodies stay energized, but it also helps alert their mind and hydrate their skin as well!
Interested in some simple hydration tips? In this blog, we’ve come up with some great tips and tricks to help you keep your head up, and your kids hydrated mentally and physically through winter. So, here’s a toast: to a few simple tips, to help with your kid’s sips!
18 helpful hacks to keeping kids hydrated through winter
1. understanding water in the body
Having enough hydration is essential for living well and for functioning at our very best. Since our bodies are naturally made up of 70 percent water, it helps us regulate our body’s temperature and digest food at an optimal level. Water also has the power to carry nutrients and oxygen to our cells; helps cushion our joints; protects our organs and tissues; and removes waste from our bodies. The benefits of water affect our brain function as well - in boosting our concentration and mental performance.
In fact, staying hydrated is the key to staying heathy and happy, especially in Winter!
Hydration is a must - as the dry winter air makes our lungs working harder than usual to warm up, causing even further dehydration in our bodies. What’s even worse for us Moms … is that winter dehydration can easily be missed. And on top of that - we aren’t always aware of what we need to be doing to prevent our kids from feeling dehydrated!
2. first … the warning signs
Dehydration in a child, especially in winter, can be hard for a parent to detect. In babies, a parched mouth, little to no tears when crying, and making sure they have been wetting up to 6-8 diapers a day is a start. In young children, paediatricians often cite crankiness, irritability and next-to-no toilet stops as a sign of dehydration. In older children: fuzzy thinking, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, poor sports performance, and nausea are also signs that something isn’t right.
3. get an early start
Ready to start shaping good drinking habits and promoting regular water intake? Get an early start. The amount your child needs depends on a few factors: their age, size, and level of activity. As a general guide, kidlets under 8 should drink between 4-5 glasses of water. For the bigger kids 9 years plus? A minimum of 6 glasses is recommended. Also, make sure water and cups are easily accessible to kids of all ages and give regular reminders throughout the day.
4. fill a water bottle on the daily
Want your kids to drink on the daily? Even if you’re not going out, keep a filled drink bottle nearby for your little one’s regular sips throughout the day. Make drinking fun, and let your kids choose their own bottle in their favorite colors. Our drink bottle is designed specifically for little hands and big thirsts and comes in an array of cool colors for cool cats! Offer water with meals and snacks and encourage drinking after tons of physical activity. And don’t forget to do the same yourself – leading by example helps kids to learn!
5. Start a drinking water goal
A great idea is to invest in a time-measured easy-to-carry refillable water bottle for school, with daily times marked on the bottle to follow through the day, giving your kids up to two liters of hydration daily. Otherwise, creating a schedule for drinking every two hours helps too: like when their favorite TV show is starting, or right before any physical activity starts.
Even if you’re not heading out, keep a filled drink bottle handy for kid’s regular sips throughout the day. Let your kids choose their own bottle in their favorite colors, with a favorite character, or picture on it. Our drink bottle (make sure it’s updated once the new site changes) is designed specifically for little hands and big thirsts and comes in an array of cool colors for cool cats! Offer water with meals and snacks and encourage drinking after physical activity. Don’t forget to do the same yourself - leading by example helps kids to learn.
6. make liquid interesting
Interested in zesting up your kid’s H20? Why not go into the vegetable garden and collect a party of tasty treats to add to your water jug and drink bottles? Add slices of fruit like lemon or orange, for fun and flavor. Add herbs like mint as a tasty addition. No vegetables in your backyard? No probs! Head to the fridge for frozen treats like raspberries and blueberries! Then serve in colorful glasses with fun sippy cups.
7. eat hydrating foods
Water-boosting foods such as green leafy vegetables, milk, oranges, strawberries, oatmeal, melon, celery, and yogurt are all a great way to sneak in more water into your daily diet. Also, try to limit your intake of fried and processed foods (such as cake, pasta, pastries, chips, white bread, and pizza) as they draw out moisture from the body, leaving you feeling thirsty afterwards.
8. eat immune-boosting foods
Kids need immune-boosting foods to fight bacteria in wintertime? Why not bulk up your kid’s meals with protein such as beef? It contains zinc, a vital ingredient in producing white blood cells that combat bacteria in our systems.
Consuming fruits that are rich in vitamin C— such as oranges, pomegranates, strawberries, and raspberries, are another great way to go. Yogurt is also a winning food, as it also contains probiotics – an ingredient that keeps the digestive system free from disease-causing germs.
Lastly, don’t forget garlic, as it contains allicin, a compound that also fights bacteria and flu-ridden infections!
9. add milk to their cereal
Another great way to start the day for your kid’s liquid intake, is to add milk to their cereal at breakfast time. In fact, you can even choose to give them turmeric milk. This healthy drink is enriched with antioxidants, vitamins, and anti-inflammatory properties.
To spice it up, you can even add blended dried fruit powder: including almonds, pistachios, cashews, saffron and nutmeg for a boost of healthy goodness!
10. feed them potassium-rich foods
Although bananas are more of a summer fruit, did you know it is perfect for winter as well? Bananas are full of potassium, which helps transport water through the body. Other foods which are great sources of potassium are spinach, peas, Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes!
11. add a bowl of fruit or veggies to every meal
Did you know that best way to manage your kid’s hydration levels is to feed them winter fruits and vegetables with every meal? These food groups are an excellent source of water and can keep your kiddos regularly hydrated. In fact, many fruits and vegetables have a high-water content! Apples for instance, are made of 84% water, and cucumbers made of 95% water.
You can even include bowls of fruit or vegetables: such as watermelon, strawberries, oranges, celery, and tomatoes with every meal. This way, you’ll know exactly how much water your child is consuming, even if it’s hidden in foods.
12. whizz up a fruit or vegetable juice
Many fruits and vegetables have a high-water content. So, feel free to offer the kids watermelon, strawberries, oranges, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers and more: in juice-form throughout the day for a healthy thirst-quenching snack. Not only are you keeping kids hydrated; but you are ensuring they hit their servings of fruit and greens for the day. It’s a win-win, folks!
13. give them warm fluids
Want to give your kids what’s good for the body and good for the soul? Get the kids toasty warm by brewing up some water with lemon, kid-friendly herbal tea, or hot cocoa. Serve it in our insulated drink bottle to keep it warm and cozy for hours. Or get out the tea set and have a fancy tea party!
14. make some flavored homemade drinks
Speaking of drinks, coconut water, fruit juices or smoothies are great snack choices to keep your kid’s hydration going. In this way, you are ensuring they hit their servings of water at each meal - especially if kids in winter often don’t feel thirsty and then forget to drink water!
Juices made from apples, oranges, pineapple, carrots, and beetroot will invigorate your child’s health with nutrition and boost their immune systems.
Serving drinks at room temperature is also a good idea, as it keeps the body at an ideal, steady temperature, as opposed to cold drinks that make the body work harder to adjust to. Which means that the energy output to do this will make us lose heat faster, instead of retaining it for warmth.
15. make some soups
Making warm soups and broths is a great, comfort-driven way to keep your kids hydrated in winter. Not only do they warm up the body, but they also contain a healthy amount of salt that help the body retain water. Great ideas for soup-making are: Tomato soup, Lentil soup, Spinach soup, Pumpkin soup, and Chicken soup, as they have the most flavour and their nutrition value is high.
16. breastfeed more often
Looking for a convenient way to hydrate your newborn baby? Why not simply breastfeed more often. Regular breastfeeding is not only an instant way to keep your baby hydrated, but it will also give them the right number of antibodies to increase their immunity in winter!
17. make lukewarm baths
Although it’s tempting to run a hot bath in winter, choosing a lukewarm bath instead has a few healthy benefits. Rinsing your face and hands in lukewarm water avoids stripping away the oils we need on our skin to stay hydrated. Another great way to lock in moisture on your kid’s skin, is to use a moisturizing lotion specifically designed for the cold winter months. You can find lotions made of natural ingredients designed for winter: like lavender, chamomile, and jojoba.
18. let your kids play outdoors and in layers
It may seem safer to keep the kids indoors on a cold winter’s day, but the truth is, playing all day in a heated house can dry the skin out. Instead, let your children play outside in the sunshine, and let the cold air’s moisture penetrate naturally into your child’s body.
Fresh, cold air can be refreshing and so beneficial to your child’s health – as long as your kids are dressed warmly and in layers!
Despite what we may think about the coldness of winter, dressing your baby or toddler in a heavy-duty woollen winter coat or wrapped in a heavy blanket may not necessarily keep them as warm as you think, and may even make them feel sweaty and itchy.
Sweating may reduce their body’s ability to regulate temperature, and your body may have to work harder to cool the body down. So instead, dress them in layered, breathable clothing. This helps absorb your child’s sweat, and helps keep their bodies warm, insulated and above all, hydrated!
Kids need plenty of fluids to keep healthy and happy all year round. Just like your car requires extra fuel to stay energized on the road, it’s up to us to teach our kids about filling their bodies with the right nutrients and proper hydration to fight off wintry viruses and infections. So, when the cold strikes in wintertime, don’t hesitate to boost your family’s overall physical health: by hydrating mindfully, adequately, and thoroughly.