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While we were at dinner Friday night, the waitress asked the usual first question, “What can I get you to drink?” Gabe yelled, “Water!” The waitress replied, “Water? That’s an unusual request from a little boy.” I had always offered him water to drink, and I would even dilute the juice he drank with water. I realize how very lucky I am, in a recent survey* between water, milk, juice, and soda, moms say water makes up 67% of their daily beverage intake, but it makes up only 48% of their kids. Today, I’m sharing a few tips to help encourage your child to drink more water and some school lunch ideas.
According to the mom’s surveyed*, drinking water is one of the biggest “healthy habit” struggles moms have with their kids (38%), even more than struggles like “eat your fruit” (29%), “get enough exercise” (23%), and “eat your breakfast” (19%). Parents can offer water at breakfast or even on the ride to school, but they have limited control over how much water their child drinks during the school day. Do you include water with their packed lunch? Frozen bottled water can be dual purpose; the frozen bottles help keep the lunch box cool and can provide hydration to your child. Skip packing juice or other drinks with the lunchbox and instead consider providing bottled water and whole/sliced fruit.
Here are a few of my favorite lunch box ideas. You’ll just need to add Nestlé® Pure Life® water :
- Pizza Quesadilla Lunch- Ham or Pepperoni with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese melted into a tortilla, quarter. Sliced or whole apple, and carrot sticks.
- Pasta Salad with ham, tomatoes, cheese, lettuce, and dressing. Banana and yogurt.
- Bacon and Tomato Quesadilla- Bacon, tomato, and cheese on a tortilla, quartered. Cucumber Slices and strawberries
- Chicken Salad- Diced cooked chicken, grapes, apples, celery, pecans (omit nuts if your child attends a nut-free school), and dressing combined on bread or served with crackers. Carrot sticks and an orange.
- Grilled Ham and Cheese- Mixed Berries, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and yogurt.
The ingredients for these lunch ideas are readily available at your local Walmart, and you can find cases of Nestlé® Pure Life® Water there, too!
It’s especially important for children participating in athletic activities to stay hydrated. I’ll often adjust Gabe’s water and calorie intake on days when he has sports practice or a game. He carries a bottle of water everywhere on gameday.
Here are a few tips about hydration from Robin Plotkin:
- Lead by example. Each time Mom or Dad goes for a drink of water, ask your children if they’d like a drink of water, too. Soon, it will be the kids asking the parents if they’d like to join them for a water break.
- 33% of kids surveyed* find it hard to remember to drink water without reminders. One suggestion to remind kids to drink more water during play dates or other group events is to designate an adult Water Captain to help with hydration. The captain sets an alarm on his/her phone for various intervals, depending on conditions such as the temperature, the type and level of play. Each time the alarm sounds, the group breaks for water. (This is my favorite tip. I coach soccer and it’s important for players to remember to take regular water breaks)
- Talk as a family about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to eating a well balanced diet and getting regular exercise, discuss drinking water and getting enough sleep as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. A recent survey* found that kids who drink 4+ glasses of water per day are more likely to exhibit healthy habits, such as getting their own water when they are thirsty or eating their fruit and vegetables at meal times without reminders.
- According to 88% of moms surveyed*, water is the beverage their child most regularly drinks in the car. Make this a healthy habit by making sure that each child has a bottle of water in hand before they leave the house.
- Checking your child’s urine color is a simple way to gauge whether or not enough he/she is getting enough fluid each day. When well hydrated, urine should be straw or lemonade color. If the urine is dark yellow, encourage additional water intake.
Nestlé® Pure Life® is a proud supporter of the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Drink Up initiative which is committed to helping families make healthier choices, starting with hydration. They’ve partnered with After School All-Stars which is an organization that offers after school programming to help keep kids safe and healthy, and they’re helping to provide bottled water to those after school programs. Nestlé® Pure Life® Water is hoping to create a ripple effect, by encouraging moms to instill healthy eating habits early. Nestlé® Pure Life® has committed to provide nearly one million 8 ounce servings of water to kids this school year through After-School All-Stars. Information source – At over 20 participating schools in select markets across the country
Do you and your children drink enough water? Do you have any great hydration tips to share? To help your family Drink Up and be a part of the Ripple Effect – a movement to keep kids hydrated – visit pureliferippleeffect.com and share your tips for healthy hydration using #pureliferippleeffect.
You can check out Nestlé® Pure Life® on social media accounts here:
* Nestlé® Pure Life® Water conducted an online survey in June 2015 of 1,077 moms of kids ages 6-12 overall, including 254 Hispanic moms of kids ages 6-12. 1,077 kids ages 6-12 from the same household were also surveyed, including 254 Hispanic kids ages 6-12.
© 2015 Nestlé® Waters North America Inc.