water

How Important is Hydration for Children?

“A recent study showed that nearly 40% of school children in India suffer from recurrent bouts of constipation.”

Sounds familiar? A popular daily carried this news in the front page! How does this problem of constipation, earlier only seen in adults, get afflicted to children? If you read the news bit carefully then you would know that children slacking on water intake happened to be one of the main reasons.

So how is your child insured for the upcoming summers in light of this new finding?

Water the most abundant constituent!

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Reams and reams of paper has been used to write about how water constitutes almost 60% of our body weight. However, this piece of information is true for adults. What about children?

 Infants and children naturally have even HIGHER proportion of body water than adults.

To top it off, they are also less heat tolerant and most susceptible to dehydration. Now, remember these facts when your child comes home from school is ready to go out playing.

Water intake for children, how much is enough?

“India seems to be battling with availability of clean drinking water for children. However, how much water should children get is still shrouded in mystery”

Don’t believe us, search online for yourself. Recommendations for water intake is the least of the concerns!

The amount of fluids required by a child is dependent on many factors such as age, gender, weather and physical activity. Despite these parameters, children should consume 6 to 8 glasses of fluids a day. Larger the serving of the fluids (250 to 300 ml) for children, the better.

We get water from foods too!

fruits

Notice how we mentioned fluids and not just water. Our foods, certain fruits, beverages also provide the body with essential hydration. Watermelon, watery dal, flavoured milk, fruit juices all provide hydration. However, what happens when a healthy, homely diet gets replaced with processed foods? The result is for all to see!

Get your child summer ready with these drinks.

Now that it has been established that hydration is important for children, it is also important to know which should be the preferred form of it. We provide you a list of 9

✓ Water

Is there any other fluid which comes to your mind as the ideal thirst quencher? It is free of unnecessary calories and a definite go-to when thirsty!

✓ Milk/Buttermilk

Yet another healthy way to ensure adequate hydration and nutrition. Milk provides with calcium, vitamin D and a host of vitamins too.

✓ 100% fruit juice

We clearly state 100% fruit juice or freshly squeezed fruit juice as it is devoid of preservatives and sugar. Restrict to 1 portion a day as consuming fruits as a whole provides your child with fibre which is lost while juicing.

✓ Coconut water

The next best natural alternative to water. A go-to if your child is outdoors and dehydrated due to the climate or due to intense play.

X Tea or coffee

Let us just say, age old wisdom of preventing children from consuming tea or coffee is justified. The caffeine content in these beverages act as stimulant. If need be, weak tea can still be provided to the children.

X Sugar containing drinks / aerated beverages

Called empty calories as they lack any nutrition other than calories. Keeping your children away from them any day is definitely a wise choice.

Easy tips to ensure adequate water intake in children

  • Provide them with any of the healthy beverages before they leave for school
  • Remind them to keep sipping on water, especially when outdoors or during play
  • Provide them with a varied diet which also increases their fluid intake. For example; curds in their lunch boxes, fruit slice for snack etc
  • Always send them out of home with a water bottle to ensure they aren’t thirsty.

 

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