We all know that as adults, along with regular exercise and going to the dentist, we’re expected to drink a ludicrous amount of water a day. Apparently it improves our complexion, helps us lose weight and boosts our immune system, among countless other fantastic benefits that sound too good to be true.
With that in mind, it would seem obvious that kids would also benefit greatly from drinking plenty of water, wouldn’t it?
But there’s a problem. Once kids realise that there are countless alternatives to water, practically every single one of them seems much more desirable. The reason for this is obvious – water is so mind-numbingly dull.
It’s the sheer definition of blandness. How people drink eight glasses of the stuff a day is beyond me. I can quite honestly say that I don’t think I’ve had eight glasses of plain water this year, so I’m with the kids on this one!
However, it’s important for children to stay hydrated and water is a cheap and healthy way to do the job. Filling up on sugary soda is not good for anyone, even if it might taste great. There’s even a policy now in a huge number of schools (including my children’s) to insist that children are only allowed to bring water into school to drink.
If you have a kids who hate drinking water, what can you do?
There is now a large market for drinks which advertise themselves as water but are flavoured with fruit. This is something that my kids and I love.
You get the benefits of drinking water but with an enjoyable taste, which encourages you to drink more. Some even come infused with extra vitamins too, which can only be a good thing.
The beauty of flavoured water when it comes to those school policies is this – they’re clear liquids! School teachers don’t taste the drinks that kids bring in so they’ll never know that they’re actually drinking strawberry water, right under their nose!
If you haven’t realised this yet, kids love it when adults break the rules (or at least appear to do so). If you treat this exercise as a game with your children saying, “Shh, it’s our secret…,” then they’ll love it, believe me.
I do have a word of warning when it comes to fruity water however. Not all are what they seem. One of the most prevalent brands of fruity water is Volvic’s Touch of Fruit range. You would probably recognise it even if you haven’t bought it before.
What you may not know however is the volume of sugar contained within them. The Lemon and Lime version contains 24.8g of sugar per 500 ml. To put that in comparison, your average Krispy Kreme doughnut has about 10g.
The shocking thing is that the vast majority of fruity waters (that are often less well known) contain no sugar at all. Get More B Vitamins is an example of flavoured water that has no sugar and also provides other benefits too.
Fruit Infused Water
Schools like water, schools also like fruit, so why don’t we combine the two? It’s similar to the above but it’s more of an in your face, look at my fruity flavoured drink kind of thing. Much less covert!
You can actually buy water bottles which allow you to put infuse fruit in the water itself to add flavour, like this one from Infruition.
It’s not just a healthy option – it looks pretty spectacular too. Who wants a water bottle with Disney characters on it when you can have a different fruit hanging in it every day? They’ll be the talk of the class!
Deciding on which fruit to include and preparing it is also great fun to do together with your kids.
H2O – Upgraded
Water is so important, but there’s no denying that on its own it’s painfully dull. We can’t blame kids for craving flavour.
Not drinking enough water can lead to poor health, but on the other hand, so can drinking flavoursome but sugary soft drinks. That’s why it’s important to find a compromise.
Whether you choose to buy flavoured waters and keep it as yours and your child’s little secret, or whether you want to proudly display your healthy fruit water for the world to see, there are endless options for making water way more fun.