Hydration for Kids

Be sure children are consuming enough water:

Water is essential to life and is recommended as the beverage of choice for all of us, especially children. Make refreshing cold water available throughout the day and ensure kids bring a water bottle during outings. Dehydration can be dangerous, especially for young children, and is much more likely in the hot summer months.  Have frequent water breaks. Children from ages 1-5 need at least 1.3-1.7 litres (5-7 cups) of water per day and more if it’s hot and when they are active.

Watch out for these signs of dehydration:

  • Thirst or dry mouth—by the time our bodies register the feeling of thirst, we are already short on fluids. Encourage water regularly to prevent getting thirsty.
  • Fatigue or listlessness—especially if accompanied by flushed cheeks from exertion or fever.
  • Irritability or dizziness
  • Dark-coloured or infrequent urine—children should need to urinate or have a wet diaper every 3 hours.
  • Infused water—see our recipe section. Add fruit, veggies or herbs to add some colour and fresh flavour.

6 Tips for Making Fluids More Fun

  • Ice cubes with fruit inside—can make water more refreshing on a hot day!
  • Fresh fruit and veggies also have a lot of water. Consume them at every meal and snack.
  • Frozen fruit—freeze on popsicle sticks for easy eating and a healthy alternative to sugary frozen treats.
  • Add bubbles—unsweetened sparkling water is also a good choice.
  • Get a special dispenser or pitcher—look for one that children can use independently.


Video credit to Sophia Jhajj, 5th Year UBC Dietetics Student

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