Summer is marching on and the heat here in Cincinnati can be overwhelming at times. Are your kids drinking enough water during these hot summer months?
With the increase of outdoor activities and longer days of intense sunshine, kids can become dehydrated quickly. Despite multi-million dollar marketing campaigns telling us otherwise, there’s nothing better to refuel kids’ bodies than cool, clean water.
With that thought in mind, Bell Dental Group would like to offer you a few ways to keep your kids hydrated this summer. As always, call us at 513-802-9440 if you have any questions or need to schedule checkups for your kids.
Why Your Child Needs Plenty of Water
If your child becomes dehydrated, their mouth may not be able to produce enough saliva to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Saliva plays a major role in removing small food particles and debris from their teeth. A clean mouth helps prevent decay and gum disease that could lead to discomfort and added expense.
Besides helping saliva production, the water itself also helps flush away debris and acids that can damage their teeth. So when they’re parched, give your kids a tall, cool glass or bottle of water. It’s the best thing for them!
Don’t Keep Soda Around
We all know kids would rather have a soda or a packaged drink rather than water. There is a ton of money spent year-round all with the purpose of steering kids toward these kinds of drinks and their bright, fun packages. Kids naturally gravitate towards these beverages because they’re hip and cool. No kid wants boring water, right?
That’s why as parents and caregivers we have to make it more exciting for them. The first thing we have to do, however, is keep soda and other sugary drinks out of the house. Just don’t buy them. “Out of sight, out of mind,” as the old saying goes.
Then, when your kids are hot and thirsty, give them water. They might complain at first and tell you what an awful parent you are, but that’s OK.
“No fair! Jared’s mom lets him have ________.” You can fill in the blank because you’ve probably already heard that complaint a thousand times anyway!
Pretty soon they will come around, and reaching for water will become second nature to them. It just takes a little time, patience, and fortitude to stand your ground.
Make Water More Fun & Appealing
Think of creative ways to make drinking water more fun for your kids. If they enjoy doing it, they are more likely to turn to water on their own.
Go to the store and find some fun, colorful water cups or bottles. Make sure the outside has something on it your kids like. Movie characters, TV shows, and cartoon characters are always popular.
Let your kids pick out one or two containers that they can call their own. If they’re old enough, you might even make them responsible for washing and drying them regularly. Let them take ownership.
As another option, buy plain cups or bottles and non-toxic markers from a craft store. Give your kids the freedom to decorate their own cups (with your supervision, of course!).
Colorful, fun straws are always a hit with kids, too. Take your kids to the grocery and let them pick out a bendy or loopy straw. They may have so much fun drinking with them that they forget all about complaining!
Plus, add some ice to your kids’ water. They love ice so use it generously to make drinking water more appealing. You can find kid-friendly ice trays in stores and online that make ice in fun shapes and designs.
Sneak More Water in With Fruit
There are lots of fruits out there that contain high amounts of water. Watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, peaches, and pineapple are all great sources of water. When your kids want a snack, offer them fruit instead of cookies or chips.
Cut fruit up and put it into kid-sized plastic bags in the fridge. Make it easily accessible so that when they’re hungry, it’s right there in front of them.
They’ll satisfy their craving, take in more water, and even improve their nutrition. Not bad.
And, as with soda, don’t keep unhealthy, calorie-loaded snacks around. Pretty soon, you might hear, “Hey Mom, we’re out of pineapple!” Wouldn’t that be a switch?!
Start Your Child Out With Good Routines Early On
Just like good nutritional habits in general, drinking water will become routine for your kids after a while. The earlier you get them started, the better.
It will take a little planning on your part, however. The more fun and rewarding drinking water is, the more your kids will want to do it. Think about it this way: If you were a kid, what would encourage you to drink more water?
Just remember – keep water, fruit, and other healthy snacks around. Avoid buying soda and other junk.
Call us at 513-802-9440 if you have any questions about keeping your kids hydrated this summer. Be sure to schedule appointments for their regular dental checkups as well. You can use our online form if it’s more convenient.