How Much Water Should Kids Drink Each Day?
Wondering how much water your kids should be drinking every day? Staying hydrated is essential for growing up healthy and strong. That’s right – water isn’t just for quenching thirst; it’s a vital nutrient that plays a significant role in the overall health and well-being of our children.
So, exactly how much water should our kids be drinking each day? Let’s dive in.
What the Numbers Say
Hydration recommendations vary according to age, sex, and level of physical activity. According to the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), children aged between 4 and 8 should consume about 1.2 litres of fluids per day. For children aged 9-13, the recommendations differ slightly between boys and girls, with girls requiring around 1.6 litres and boys requiring about 1.9 litres.
It’s important to note that these recommendations relate to total fluid intake, inclusive of water, milk, and other beverages, along with the fluid content of foods. Foods such as fruits and vegetables can contribute significantly to a child’s total water intake. For example, watermelon and cucumber have a water content of over 90%!
Consider Other Factors
A big factor to consider is sports, playtime, and general physical activity for your little ones. Children who are involved in regular physical activity or sports will require more fluids to replenish what they lose through sweat. Likewise, on particularly hot and dry days, their need for hydration increases, so make sure they’re consuming more than their recommended daily intake.
Children often fail to recognise the early signs of dehydration, making it all the more important for parents and caregivers to ensure they are adequately hydrated. Signs of dehydration can include a dry or sticky mouth, reduced or dark-coloured urine, and general tiredness. If you notice your child might be dehydrated, it’s important to get them drinking more fluids!
Not All Drinks Are Equal
When it comes to the choice of beverage, not all drinks hydrate equally. Plain water is the most recommended choice as it hydrates without adding unnecessary sugars or calories to your child’s diet. It’s also the best for maintaining oral health. Australian tap water, which is safe and clean, is a perfect choice and it’s free!
Milk, particularly reduced-fat varieties for children over two years, is another beneficial drink. It provides necessary nutrients like calcium and protein. However, be mindful of the consumption of fruit juices, soft drinks, and cordials, even if they claim to contain real fruits or be low-sugar. They can contain sugars that may lead to tooth decay and excessive calorie intake. It’s always better to offer whole fruits instead, which contain natural sugars and the added benefit of fibre.
In summary, water is vital for the health of our children. As responsible caregivers, let’s make sure they get their right fill, whether they’re coming back from afternoon sport or just having a lazy Sunday. From school to the playground, remember to keep those water bottles filled and within their reach. It’s one of the simplest ways to keep our little ones happy, hydrated, and healthy!
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