Hydration 101: Getting Kids Enough Water

Did you know water is a nutrient?  Just like Vitamin C, Magnesium and Zinc, our bodies (and certainly our busy kiddos), need to stay hydrated to function properly, whether it’s winter or a scorching summer.  While we may think more about drinking water to keep cool when it’s hot outside, we need water year round to maintain body temperature and blood volume, keep joints and body tissue lubricated and help remove waste products. This essential nutrient also transports those other nutrients, and oxygen, throughout the body to each and every cell.  

When kids get dehydrated, they can suffer a range of symptoms - some more easily recognizable than others.  From general crankiness to dry skin to dizziness (and/or headache), the signs of dehydration can often go undetected. 

For an estimate of how much your kids should be drinking daily, look to the following ranges (to determine your child’s precise intake needs based on weight, leverage this calculator). 

  • 1-3 years: 4 to 6 cups/day
  • 4-8 years: 7 cups/day
  • 9-13 years: 9-10 cups/day
  • 14-18 years: 10-14 cups/day
If those amounts seem high, remember that we get water from a variety of sources, not just as a beverage itself.  Juices (especially those that provide nutrients like Vitaminis), fruits, vegetables and dishes made up of them are all options for keeping kiddos happily hydrated.
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