My two kids, ages 6 and 9, drink lots of milk, but very little water. My sister is a water drinker, and thinks that I should force my kids to drink water. Is drinking water important for children?
Drinking plenty of water is important for everyone. It would be a good idea to get your children into the habit of drinking water. According to Water UK (www.water.org.uk), besides maintaining a healthy level of hydration, drinking water also helps weight control, mental performance, and increases energy.
In addition, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that, "a high fluid intake is associated with a decreased risk of bladder cancer in men" (Michaud, et. al., 1999).
Here are some tips for proper hydration:
1. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day, more if you're exercising.
2. Drink water throughout the day. Don't wait until you feel thirsty.
3. Have water handy, carry a water bottle in the car or at the office.
4. Beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, or alcohol are not a substitute for water.
5. If you have a hard time remembering to drink water, then establish a routine, i.e.: drink a glass when you get up. Drink a glass before a meal and after each meal. If you do not have nocturia (getting up frequently at night to urinate), then drink a glass before bed.