Daily water goals for kids you should know

Child drinking water outdoorsI am sure you have heard this recently, especially this summer. What do your kids often drink?

Water makes up 60 percent of our bodies so it makes sense we need to drink up during the day. Many of the children I see drink juice or sugar sweetened beverages instead of water throughout the day. Which fluids are better?

Many foods are comprised of 20 percent free water — which contributes to our fluid goals (fruits and vegetables are rich in water content). Other beverages: juice, milk, tea, coffee, pop and sugar sweetened beverages, are chiefly water. Yes, these beverages DO count, but consider this: beverages other than water cost and often add extra energy to your daily intake. Did you know 80 percent of children drink sugar sweetened beverages daily? Which supports the fact 1 out of 6 children are obese. Juice is also considered a sugar sweetened beverage. If you offer juice to your child, provide 100 percent and four ounces a day; consider watering it down and choose to eat fruits over drinking juice.

 Daily Water Goals (Cups/day)

4-8 years

  • Girls and boys: 7

9-13 years

  • Girls: 8-9
  • Boys: 10

14-18 years

  • Girls: 9-10
  • Boys: 13-14

Data are from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) Tables. Recommended Daily Allowance and Adequate Intake Values: Total Water and Macronutrients.

  • Make water the beverage of choice between meals (serve milk at meals). Freshen water with a lemon or orange wedge. Keep a water jug/cooler available for the kids to serve themselves.
  • Denote a water bottle for each child to use during the day and in the car. Wash the bottles regularly!

 

Bottom line: Reach for water: it is inexpensive, refreshing, calorie free and easy to find.

 

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