Every organ of the body needs to stay hydrated in order to function smoothly. During summer the body needs more hydration and there is a need for comparatively high consumption of water. Just like adults kids also need to keep their body well hydrated in order to function smoothly and maintain good health.
Kids can consume water from other sources such as milk, juices, fruits and vegetables too but these sources also have natural sugar and fats and hence should be consumed in limited quantity. Water is the best source for hydrating the body because it is the only liquid which does not have any fats, sugar etc., and also does not have any side effects.
Recommended water consumption for kids
On an average an adult must drink 3-5 liters of water daily however for kids this quantity differs as per their age. Kids of the age group 4-8 years must drink at least 5 cups of water daily. Young girls of the age group 9-13 should drink 7 cups daily while boys of the same age should drink 8 cups of water daily. Teen age girls between 14-18 years of age must drink 8 cups of water whereas teenage boys of same age must dink 11 cups of water daily.
The above mentioned quantity of water is generic and may change as per the physical activity and exposure to sun. In case your kids play a lot in sun or do rigorous exercise during summer then they may require 4-16 ounces or more extra water depending upon their age and size.
How to check whether your kid is drinking adequate amount of water or no?
Kids can be really difficult to manage and keeping a check on their water consumption level can be more difficult. The easiest way to make sure your kid is well hydrated is by checking their urine color. If your child is consuming enough water he/she will urinate frequently and the urine will be clear if not the urine frequency will be less and the urine will be dark yellow in color. If your child is not drinking enough water try to give them other fluids of their choice which will keep them hydrated. You can also feed them cucumbers, watermelons, strawberries, tomatoes and other fruits and vegetables which have high water content.
Which fluids should kids drink and how much?
Kids should drink water as per the above mentioned quantity; your kids may drink more than that too and it’s completely okay! See to it that the water is coming from a pure source and is suitable for human consumption. If your kids are fond of drinking chilled water let them drink it occasionally.
In case of fresh fruit juices 1-2 cups of fresh juice is ok for teenagers while for younger kids this quantity should not exceed 3/4th cup.Fresh fruit juices are healthy but they lack the fiber of whole fruit. Moreover, remember that one whole glass of juice is like a onetime meal for kids and it takes long time to digest.
In case of packed fruit juices always check for whole fruit juices. Kids under the age of six and below can consume half to three fourth cup of canned fruit juices and punches while older kids and teen ages should not consume more then 2 cups of these juices.
Kids below two years should be give whole fat milk and quantity should be as advised by pediatrician/doctor. Kids between the age group of 3-7 years should consume 1-2 cups of low fat or non-fat milk.8-12yaers kids should not come more than 2 cups o low fat milk while teenagers should not drink more than 3 cups of low fat milk.
Even though TV advertisements claim that these sports drinks are healthy and provide essential vitamins and minerals to body do not give sports drinks to your kids unless he/she is doing any rigorous sports. If your kid is an athlete in training try to give him more protein rich foods and see to it that he consumes a wholesome diet which nourishes his/her body so that there is no need to depend on supplementary drinks.
Avoid giving energy drinks to your kids as they contain caffeine and a lot of sugar which is not at all god for your kid’s health