22nd March is annually marked as United Nations World Water Day. The 2015 theme is tagged “Water for Sustainable Development”. We used the opportunity to examine water as the best drink for the sustainable development of children, to add to our Child Development Series. We did some research to find out tips to help parents of young children better understand why water is the best drink for their kids.
Do you know that “at birth, the total body water content is as high as 75%. It decreases during the first year of life in childhood to reach 60% at adult age” (source: www.h4hinitiative.com)? This alone, we believe makes for a very good reason to encourage children to take in enough water. Added to this are the following reasons why we think you should choose water over calorie drinks for children:
- A recent study recently conducted in Germany reveals that promoting water consumption among children helped prevent obesity in elementary school children;
- The no-sugar containing characteristic of water ensures that there is no fear of tooth decay for your child;
- Tap water has been found to contain fluoride which helps in growing strong teeth and bones. More reason for tap water is that it costs much less. But in cases where you do not trust the cleanliness of the water source, get water from the shops, if you can afford to or just take a trip down to a clean stream and get it clean from the natural source;
- Because children are always active, playing and learning, they need to be constantly hydrated.
For better understanding of how much water your child needs every day, the list below is the recommended daily intake amount;
- 0-6 months————————————– 100-190ml/day
- 6-12 months———————————— 80-1000ml/day
- 1-2 years—————————————- 1100-1200ml/day
- 2-3 years—————————————- 1300ml/day
- 4-8 years—————————————- 1600ml/day
- 9-13 years————————————– 2100ml/day for boys and 1900ml/day for girls
- 14 years and above————————— 2600ml/day for boys and 2000ml/day for girls
The image below shows a physical representation of the measurements listed above.
For alternative or flavoured drinks, advisably, fresh fruit juices are best for children if you can take the pain to prepare them once in a while. In the absence of this, other flavored drinks can also be given as treats once in a while. These can be toned down still by adding water to reduce the sugary content. So always remember to pack water for your kids daily for school, sports, picnics or any other activity. It is advisable in case you do not trust the source of water found elsewhere and most importantly, because it is a life-saver.
Cheers to drinking water and living healthy!