How to make sure your family drinks enough water

Infused water
Cucumber infused water Image: iStock/sveta_zarzamora https://www.istockphoto.com/za/photo/cucumber-infused-hydrating-water-with-thyme-and-lime-gm546172370-98595955

Drinking several glasses of water a day, throughout the day, is seen more as a chore than a necessity for some.

While many people can easily sip a glass of juice, a can of soda or a cup of coffee with ease, they just can’t bring themselves to drink that all-important H2O.

Health experts suggest drinking at least eight glasses of water a day is very important.

But it can also depend on how much you weigh and whether you exercise or not.

Children aged five to eight should drink about five glasses, while nine to 12-year-olds should down about seven glasses, according to Healthy Kids.

The recommendation for teenagers is eight to 10 glasses.

It’s not a lot when you think about it, but drinking even a few glasses is a huge feat for most people.

If you are worried about your family’s water intake, here’s how you can increase it.

CHILDREN

Add fruit
If your child enjoys eating fruit, then consider infusing their water with some of their favourites. This will help encourage them to drink up.

Carry water everywhere you go
Children enjoy playing outdoors and are likely to get thirsty quickly. Instead of buying them a sugary drink, carry water in your bag. It would be harder for them to say no to water when they are really thirsty.

Make drinking water fun
Get your toddler to drink more water by turning it into a game. Use a special cup or bottle, with their favourite Disney movie character on it. Encourage them to drink until a certain point, example Elsa’s crown, and cheer when they do so. You can also make drinking water more fun for kids by making them drink it out of a straw. Most kids prefer cooler water than water straight out of the tap. Consider putting a few ice cubes in their cups.

Lead by example
When children are surrounded by people who are constantly drinking water, it becomes the norm for them.

Give them a treat
Reward their good drinking behaviour by giving them a treat like 10 extra minutes watching their favourite show. They will eventually get the hang of it, and realise that drinking water is not all that bad!

Dilute their juice
If your child absolutely refuses to drink water, despite your best efforts, start off by diluting the drinks they normally love. Fruit juices are loaded with sugar, and could definitely do with some more water to balance it out.

You need to constantly be on your children’s case to drink water. It helps control their body temperature, aids with digestion, and helps avoid constipation. Water also helps with blood circulation.

Father and daughter drinking water Image: iStock/Kerkez https://www.istockphoto.com/za/photo/father-and-daughter-drinking-water-gm531320976-93745813

ADULTS

Set goals
Decide how much water you want to drink in a day, and then add times to your water bottle to keep track. For example, write 7am, 9am, 12am, 2pm, and 5pm on the side of a transparent water bottle, and make sure you drink enough water by the times stipulated.

Make it a habit
Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up in the morning, and before you go to bed at night. It’s not only good for your health, but that’s two less glasses to worry about. Also make a habit of drinking a glass or two of water at least 30-minutes before meals, as it will help prevent you from overeating, and help with digestion.

Download an app
There are several water apps on the market that help you keep track of how much water you are drinking, and send you reminders to make sure you reach your daily goals.