The importance of hydration need not to be emphasized for Children as they have higher water requirements in relation to their body weight than adults. However, kids don’t always recognize the early stages of thirst, which can make them particularly vulnerable to becoming dehydrated, especially during times that can drive up their body fluid losses, for example when they are playing sport or during warm weather. The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) gives guidelines for the types of fluid to drink, and water is the only fluid which they recommend drinking “plenty” as it hydrates without calories or risking harm to the teeth.
How much should kids be drinking?
The amount of water a child needs to drink depends on such factors like age, gender, the weather, and how much physical activity they do. It is advised that kids aged 4-13 aim to drink approximately 6-8 glasses of fluid a day in addition to the water included in the food in their diet. Younger kids need relatively small drinks like 150 ml serving. Children also should aim to hydrate with plain, natural drinks that are unsweetened and free from additives. Starting in the morning with their breakfast, kids should aim to have 6-8 drinks per day which should ideally be water, milk, fruit juice/ vegetable juices. Children taking part in sports or exposed to hot weather need to replenish the lost fluids by drinking more water.
BY SOPHIE AIGBOMIAN