The two main ways to keep your kids healthy is to make sure 1) they get lots of exercise and 2) they drink lots of water.
Exercise is not problem for us. My daughter wouldn’t sit still if she was duct taped to a chair with a fifty pound weight on her lap.
Water, on the other hand, is a bit of an issue. The only way I can get Mazzy to drink water is to mix it with juice. Or possibly force feed it to her in that whole duct tape scenario mentioned above, but it’s not my favorite option.
So, if every week brings a new parenting challenge, this week I am determined to get my daughter to appreciate daily servings of H2O.
I’m hoping that through a combination of fun products (sinking Titanic Ice anyone?) and parental ingenuity (aka lying), I might have some success. But as with everything concerning a three-year-old, I’m sure there will be lots of trial and error, so take my suggestions with a grain of salt.
1. Buy fun cups.
I’ll start with the obvious. Let your child pick out a special cup and then only let them use that cup when they are drinking water. Always leave the special cup of water where your child can reach it and have it on hand whenever you are on-the-go.
2. Make drinking water into a game.
Challenge your kid to drink to a certain level of the cup. Like if it’s the Dora the Explorer Sippy Cup (pictured left), say: “Drink until you reach the bottom of Dora’s shoe!”
3. Freeze some cool shapes.
Mazzy loves ice. Always has. Someone bought us a penguin-shaped ice cube tray and the other day when I tried and failed to get Mazzy excited about water, I suggested we put the penguin ice in the cup. SOLD! There are tons of fun alternatives— everything from mustaches to sparkly jewels to Hello Kitty.
4. Stick a slice of fruit in there.
You never know what’s gonna be exciting to a toddler so you might as well give this one a shot. Maybe it will be the greatest thing that ever happened or maybe she’ll pluck that slice of lemon out and whip it across the room. It’s worth a shot. You can also try freezing a raspberry in an ice cube.
5. Suck it from a silly straw.
When we were younger we had Crazy Straws. Of course, I remember drinking mainly chocolate milk out of those things but there’s no reason why you can’t use them to bring a little excitement to your child’s cup of water. Chocolate milk is exciting on its own. There are also Strawz Connectible Drinking Straws that work a bit like Tinker Toys. Or how about the magic wand ice cube tray? You freeze a star at the end of a straw— genius! Just pray your kid doesn’t get pissed when it melts.
6. Teach your kid to serve herself.
We’ve got a water dispenser on our fridge. It honestly never occured to me to teach Mazzy how to use it until I started writing this post. This morning I set up some cups in an accessible place and told her she was free to get her own water whenever she wanted. You would have thought I gave her the keys to our car.
7. Be a water role model.
“Yummmmm. Water is my favorite!!!! Tinkerbell LOVES water! So does Spiderman! You know what I could really go for? A glass of water! I’m going to chug a glass right now!”
8. Create a Pissing Match.
Yeah. Literally. Tell your kid you can tell how much water she is drinking by the color of her pee. Very yellow means not enough and pretty clear means you are winning at water. And who doesn’t want to WIN AT WATER???!!!
If all else fails…
9. Make a cup of juice the reward for finishing the water.
Products in the graphic above: Alphabet Ice Silicone Rubber Ice Cube Trays, Plastic Fun Loop Straws, Silly Straw Plastic Tubing Eyeglass Straws
, Sigg Water Bottle, Strawz Connectible Drinking Straws, Hello Kitty Ice Cube Tray, Princess Plastic Goblets
, Bobble BPA Free Water Bottle Set, Ice Invaders ice tray, Titanic Ice Cube Tray
This post was sponsored by PediaCare who asked me to write about ways to make staying healthy fun.
PediaCare Children’s Cough & Runny Nose Plus Acetaminophen is specially developed for kids (ages 4-11) and provides safe and effective relief for your child’s cough, cold and fever symptoms. All PediaCare’s products are 100% child-focused with kid-friendly flavors and appropriate dosing restrictions. Check here for their dosing chart which uses weight as opposed to height.
Disclosure: I am honored to be a 2012 paid brand ambassador for PediaCare. All opinions expressed are my own. For more information about PediaCare products, please visit their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/PediaCare
So weird, was just having a convo with friends about this – how much sugar there is in drinks for kids especially juice! I am not completely anti-juice but it is very limited – water and occasional milk are the go-to drinks around here. Which makes me seem Very Healthy until I add in that I made 55 cupcakes over the weekend and I don’t even want to guess how many pounds of candy were inhaled during that adventure. Oh well. Yin and Yang – water and chocolate 😉
Anyway – too late now for Mazzy but maybe as a tip for Harlow – when my kids were teething I filled a bottle with ice and water. They could carry it around as water won’t rot their teeth like milk would (um – my kids were late teethers! But still works with kids that aren’t mobile as can grab it when seated or even if super young still like to hold it against their gums), the ice kept the water (and hence the nipple) super cold but the couldn’t get to the ice to choke on it or super-freeze their gums. Not only worked well for teething but due to the copious amounts of water consumed and that it helped them feel good – they have been great water fans 🙂 Juice is given – but more in winter or when there is a lack of fruit – or as an aside in a packed lunch alongside a huge thermos of water 🙂
*water did not replace breastmilk / formula which was consumed in normal amounts for age* 😉
I got on this assignment early and have never, ever bought juice for, nor offered juice to, my daughter. When she would ask about other kids drinking from the little boxes I would discreetly tell her that juice is yucky. Finally, when she was about three years old she tried juice at party. She marched up to me and said with a stricken look on her face “Juice is not yucky, juice is yummy.” Since that cat is out of the bag she knows she can have it as a very occasional treat at birthday parties or after sporting events when the other parents bring drink boxes for all the kids. We don’t ever drink flavored or chocolate milk either and she loves water to this day. She also loves Easter candy and cupcakes but water is her drink of choice.
We let our little man have juice “spritzers”. It’s 99% water with a splash of low sugar juice. He thinks he is getting something super cool becuase we call it a spritzer but really its most water with a tiny taste of juice.
So timely! My kid has seasonal allergies and drinking a lot of water is helpful for those as well as being healthy all the time. I talked to his preschool teacher about it yesterday and she magically gets him to drink his water. He was even telling a classmate about how awesome water is when she didn’t want any. And last evening he told me he likes water! But he still doesn’t really drink it for me. So thank you.
Thanks for the tips! My kids range from so-so to adequate for water intake. There is always room for improvement! A few of these tips put a special gleam in my eye; the neat-o ice shapes are brilliant!
The fun, new cup is a great tip and works for us. My son will drink anything out of that! I also like the idea of adding fruit to it. It’s colorful and gives water a taste.
I saw something on another blog or Pinterest where the mom had a whale in a bucket and the kids got to pour water into the whale cup each time they drank some water. The goal was to get the whale back into the water or something. Seemed like a cool idea. Found it- it was Pinterest. 🙂 http://excited2learn.com/blog/water-whale-getting-your-little-one-to-drink-enough/
Very helpful! I never thought of the shaped ice cube trays! Good idea, Ilana!
Have you tried any of these out on husbands? Mine hates water. and only wants to drink soda and orange juice (which is not great for a diabetic) :/. my 11 month old on the other hand cant get enough water.
Caitlyn was so tiny as a baby, and she never wanted to eat, so our pediatrician recommended that we stop giving her juice when she was still really young. She gets it occasionally now, but the fact is that I rarely have it in the house. If she’s thirsty and she wants a drink, she gets water. If you can actually open the fridge and show her “hey look, no juice”, eventually she will get thirsty enough for the water.
I’m totally buying the sinking Titanic ice cube trays. Those are adorable!!
My son is only one, but the only way I can get him to drink water right now is if I let him drink it like a big boy. He doesn’t drink as much if I put it in his sippy cup. Unfortunately, I have to hold the cup and keep tipping it back little by little but HE LOVES IT. He really likes ice cold water too.
Maybe he’ll enjoy the Titanic ice cubes : )
Look up aqua infuser. I got one for christmas and it is awesome.
The fun cup idea works well, especially if that cup can “Only hold water”. We also can “only” have water in the car. Sometimes, a little lie works wonders, especially when they are too young to ask why.
When my children were little, we always watered down the juice. By “we” I mean every mom I knew. Juice boxes were things only grandmothers bought back then.
I’m curious if you could use the magic wand ice cube straw as a timer. You could tell her to drink her “magic” water until the magic runs out! Once the star is gone she no longer has to drink!
That looks awesome! I bet Mazzy would love to do it too. Thanks for the tip.
I only ever offer water.. if they are thirsty, they will drink water. No need to buy fancy stuff or bribe. Plus just not have juice around. I alway say “we dont have any juice, if you are thirsty here is water.” They do get juice occasionally but its usually watered down too. Now my kids, who are 6 and 4, advocate water to their friends.
We always mix water with juice at home with more water than juice. But I do have a bad habit of sticking a juice box in my purse when we are on the go. My concern is more that I can never get her to drink straight up water.
Yeah, we messed this one up early and now I fear there is no going back. About a year ago, we started mixing water with juice as an effort to get her to drink less milk— our pediatrician said that too much milk was the reason she was not interested in food. I tried to get her to drink plain water but she wasn’t interested.
My daughter loves water either in a sippy with ice, or we just have a bunch of water bottles in our fridge (like used 20 oz soda bottles cleaned out) and she can go to the fridge and get her own water. She likes it super cold just like me!
What a cute idea. I wonder if it would continue to be fun and motivational day after day, or if it would lose its novelty…
My daughter loves to get her own water out of the fridge. She also loves to spill it all over the floor. Not my favorite activity of hers. I like your fruit in the water idea. Although my daughter always grabs the slice of lemon out of anyone’s drink and eats it. Weird, I know.
my kids were better about water younger, but now at 7 and 9 they don’t like to drink it much any more. so after they’ve had their one glass of juice they’re allowed, and I tell them water only, I do allow a squirt of water flavoring such as Mio. I know they are either full of sugar or sugar substitute, but I like that I can control the amount I put in – so I can put a drop in a full bottle of water and they’ll down it, as apposed to not drinking anything at all…. not ideal, but better than not hydrating at all. When they are playing sports though, I stick to straight water, they are too young to need electrolites as they are normal healthy children, and they’re thirsty so they drink what they have… I just use it for school lunch drinks and afterschool snack drinks!
My son will drink flavored seltzer water, which is definitely better than juice! I think he likes it because it is mostly what I drink as well. When he was smaller the carbonation did not sit well, but we used to just open a bottle and let it go flat. The little bit of flavoring was enough to make him want to drink it. Good luck!
I’m just starting to introduce water to my 9 month old daughter. I first attempted out of a sippy cup but she turned her nose up to that. She seemed interested in my cup but it was a little big so I filled a shot glass up to the top with water and voila she loves it! It’s the perfect size for her and it looks so cute sitting beside mommy’s big girl cup:) I offer her a sip whenever I have a drink of water throughout the day.
For 20 years I have taught creative movement and dance to children ages 18 months to 13 years and coached youth soccer. I have successfully used the following method in my classes to hydrate my dancers and on the soccer field to revive my players: I put cold water into a spray bottle (cute little colorful ones for the itty bitty dancers; larger ones for the big guys) and spritz their mouths (or faces or tops of their heads or backs or wherever!). BUT,,, the greatest result??? Moms tell me that their kids who HATE drinking water cannot get enough of these spritzes! The sensation of the water hitting inside their mouth – I think – is what makes them ask for more and lo and behold, we get what WE want: Our children ARE HYDRATING WITH PLAIN OLD H20!! They seem to never get tired of swallowing water this way. Try it!
Korean (and Japanese) drinks roasted barley or roasted corn tea (no caffein) instead of plain water. It has great nutty taste and supposedly help digesting or something.
Kids love the flavor either warm or cold. You can buy them in Asian grocery market on 32nd street or East Villege. They also have organic tea.
Korean don’t like to give unboiled spring water to infant and the tea is usually given to infant when they have digest problems.
My 2 1/2 year old doesn’t like to eat or drink so I always check her liquid intake. First choice is whole milk (she is under weight) and next is the tea.
It is healthy and tasty water. The only down side is it goes bad(sour) very quickly in warm weather so need to be refrigerated.
Let your little ones pour “MAGIC POWDER” (aka crystal light pouches) and stir. We use about 1/6 of the packet for one glass and the kids get to stir ALL BY THEMSELVES. Wow. I can’t stand how watered down it is, but the kids love it!
I’m a nanny for a two-year-old and we have 3 cups that have sea creatures on them and those are our water cups I put one in each room that he plays in. we have one Elmo cup that strictly for milk and whenever it’s empty it goes in the sink to be washed. And he can’t have milk until it’s clean. I usually wash it at lunch then he can have milk for dinner.
[…] kid, your world is full of sugary treats, salty snacks, and brightly coloured drinks. In contrast, water can appear a little underwhelming. Although adults know how refreshing, delicious and beneficial […]
[…] 5. Buy them a favorite fun cup. […]
[…] 5. Buy them a favorite fun cup. […]
[…] of tips on the internet. For example, Mommy Shorts’ ingenious tricks (which you can read here) are helpful, particularly the first two: Buy fun cups and make it a game. If you think these two […]
Here is the tips How to Encourage Children To Drink Water
Does youг blog have a contact page? I’m having a
tough time ⅼocating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mаil.
Ӏ’ve ցot ѕome recommendations for your Ьlog you might be interested іn hearing.
Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it еxpand over tіme.
[…] of water or find it boring – firstly…suck it up!….secondly there are plenty of other ways to get your children to drink more water than always having to add squash to […]
[…] when they’re not a fan of the beverage, to begin with. If that’s the case, there are some simple ways to make drinking H2O a little bit more fun for […]
[…] Create a system of rewards for your children when they meet hydration goals. It can be as simple as giving them a sweet treat every time they finish a glass of water or something bigger, such as a family night out for those who meet their weekly goals. Enforce simple punishments when your kids are not properly hydrating, such as restricting television or video games. […]
[…] practical that will probably get used every day then a reusable unicorn water bottle is perfect! Keeping hydrated is super important, especially when your child is at school and they need to concentrate. If they have a cool water […]
[…] Shorts actually has some amazing tips to help get your kids to drink more water. Her tip number 8 had me crying […]
Wow! Such an amazing and helpful post this is. I really love it. It’s so good and so awesome.This post provided by you is very helpful for proper planning.