Help Kids Drink More Water; 8 Ideas to Try

posted on Wed, Oct 22 2014 6:22 pm by Daniel W. Hatcher, National Healthy Out-of-School Time Advisor

As part of a new campaign called “Sugar Buildings,” Brita built a replica of a city, entirely out of sugar cubes. Keep a lookout for the new 30-second TV spot with an intricate skyline, complete with skyscrapers, parks and bridges, indexed to the lifetime sugar consumption of a person who drinks just one soda a day – 221,314 sugar cubes!

The campaign is part of ongoing efforts from Brita to remind people that water is the easiest and healthiest beverage around. What can you do to help kids drink more water? The National AfterSchool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards encourage programs to provide plain drinking water at all times at no cost to youth and staff.

Here are some tips from our National Nutrition Advisors. Pick a couple and add these to your Healthy Out-of-School Time Action Plan.

  1. Keep a pitcher or container of water available at all times. Make sure kids can easily reach and pour from it.

  2. Hang colorful signs near water fountains encouraging children to drink more water. You might even consider giving your water containers or water fountains fun names. Encourage kids to make their own signs; perhaps even hold a poster contest. You can find key messages for kids at Food and Fun. One poster message you might share is “Active for less than an hour? All you need is water.”

  3. Ask a local business to donate water bottles or cups. Let the business know that your afterschool program is making hydration a priority. Provide craft supplies and let kids decorate their own bottle and cup. Maybe ask a hobby store for craft donations. Is there a local artist that could serve as a guest and give your kids art tips?

  4. Let families know your program makes water available to kids. Ask families to make sure kids pack their water bottle or cup each day. Reinforce the bottle is only to be used for water.

  5. Set a good example and drink water yourself; even an empty soda bottle on your desk could send mixed messages.

  6. Try Silly Water; add lemon, lime juice, berries or a sprig of mint to water. Hold a water taste test to find out what kind of Silly Water your kids prefer. Create fun ice cubes by freezing pieces of fruit in ice cube trays.

  7. At your next party or celebration, give out silly straws or reusable plastic ice cubes in fun shapes and colors.

  8. Use social media? Spread the word that your site is on board by tweeting #choosewater. Share your ideas and show us how much your kids like to drink water.