According to a new study that was conducted in Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health more than fifty percent of children and teens in the United States are just not getting enough water. Water makes up more than seventy percent of our bodies and is essential for all functions, least alone helping you expel out harmful waste substances from your body and keeping you refreshed.
The study that was published in American Journal of Public Health claims that the statistics are scary because lack of hydration can have huge implications on the physical and mental well-being of children. Symptoms of lack of hydration include irritability, headaches, increased heart rate, dizziness, dry mouth, and poorer physical performance.
“The prevalence of inadequate hydration was 54.5%. Significantly higher urine osmolality was observed among boys, non-Hispanic Blacks, and younger children compared with girls, Whites, and older children, respectively,” said Erica Kenney, from Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, and colleagues wrote.
Lauren Graf, from the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, suggests improving the taste of plain water which some children find difficult to consume may play a crucial role in improving the situation. One way is by placing fresh orange, lime or lemons slices, or even slices of cucumber in containers of water and leaving them in the fridge to cool. The addition of fruit and flavour makes water more palatable.
At the same time, Graf said that parents should decrease the amount of sweetened beverages and carbonated drinks that their children are consuming because that develops a palate which craves sugar only and finds normal water bland tasting.
“Reducing intake of sugary beverages can help retrain the palate to crave less sugar,” Graf said.
Here are some healthy tips to make your kid drink more water:
– Get them a cool water bottle with their favorite cartoon character/comic book hero on it – children are more likely to carry it around and drink from it if they love it!
– Buy attractive looking cups
– Set a good example for your children by drinking water in front of them on a regular basis, and by keeping a handy water bottle at all times. Children are more likely to drink water if they see their parents drink water rather than sodas and juices.
– Encourage them to develop a habit of drinking a glass of water before the start of a meal!
– Show them how healthy it is to start their day with a glass or two of water. Not only is your body dying to get some extra water in the morning but your throat is parched too! Your child will develop a healthy habit which will be hard to let go off.