6 Tips to Get Your Kid to Drink Water

Published: February 26th, 2013 |
Author: Sally Kuzemchak

Help your child learn to love this healthy drink.

I hear from a lot of parents that their kids just don’t like water—they’d rather have milk or juice. (My sister-in-law actually used to call water “earth juice” to entice my nephew to drink it!) But water truly is the best drink for kids. While milk is nutritious, too much can fill kids’ bellies so they’re not hungry for food. And juice may boast vitamin C, but it’s also a concentrated source of calories and a common cause of tummy troubles among toddlers.

If your child doesn’t love straight-up H2O, don’t give up. Continue to offer water as the default drink, making sure it’s available when he’s hot and thirsty. And try some of these strategies to increase the appeal:

  1. Make sure your water actually tastes good. If it doesn’t, consider installing a faucet filter or using a water pitcher with a built-in filter, like Brita. (A filter will also remove potentially harmful chemicals from your water.)

  2. Freeze individual berries inside ice cubes, then plop them in a glass of water for a fun surprise. You can also pour 100% juice into an ice tray to make juice cubes—put just one in a glass of water for a bit of flavor.

  3. Add a slice of orange or lime to a pitcher of water. Or use one of these special water pitchers to infuse water with the natural sweetness of fruit.

  4. If your child is stuck on soda, invest in a SodaStream, which carbonates water. Serve the fizzy water plain or with a splash of 100% juice.

  5. Take your child to the store and let him pick out a fun sports bottle or straw cup that’s reserved for water. Just make sure it’s BPA-free.

  6. When all else fails, stick a silly straw in your child’s water glass!

How do you encourage your child to stay hydrated with water?

—Sally Kuzemchak, MS, RD

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Keywords: beverages, family, nutrition