We all know how important it is to drink water throughout the day. We also know that an adult should drink at least 8 glasses of water on daily basis. What is the ideal water intake for toddlers though?
Habits should be established in infancy and it is mandatory that your little bundle of joy takes in loads of fluids. However, the question remains how much is loads really?
This is a point in time when your little one is making a transition from breastfeeding or drinking out from a feeder to drinking fluids from a cup. It is vital that you leave no stone unturned to keep your baby hydrated. It can also be quite a hassle considering that you also have to ensure that your baby remains safe from any accident.
Three out of five parts of the human body consists of water. So, despite being small in stature, your toddler’s body predominantly consists of water. That is exactly why the Noble Research Institute considers water as one of the most important nutrients for kids and adults. All the tissues and organs in your kid’s body needs water to function appropriately. Dehydration can be greatly avoided by drinking tons of water.
In contrast to adults who harbour a sense of thirst, toddlers may not be able to know if they are thirsty or how to tell when they are feeling thirsty. This makes life significantly harder for parents who are left with the dilemma to decide if they kid is well hydrated or not.
The color of your kid’s urine can serve as a simple indicator of whether a kid is properly hydrated or not. A kid with sufficient water intake should have a urine with pale yellow color while a dark pale yellow tone with a strong odor means that the toddler is not well hydrated.
Water intake and kid’s weight
The weight of a child determines the amount of fluids that his or her body requires. Here is the amount of water required by your kid with regard to his or her weight:
- 32 to 40 ounces of fluid for a kid weighing 30lbs or less
- 40 to 48 ounces of fluid for a kid weighing between 31lbs and 41lbs
- 48 to 56 ounces of fluid for a kid weighing between 42 and 63lbs
This does not necessarily mean that all this quantity has to be fulfilled with water only. If your baby is breastfed or bottle fed, you would be encouraged to know that a blend of milk and water can do the trick generally.
Give due importance to milk
As your kid grows, milk does not remain a priority as it used to be once but do not let it fade away into obscurity. Milk is a handy source for both nutrition and fluid intake and so remains an important part of diet for your toddler.
Keep in mind that milk remains a great source of calcium, Vitamin D and protein for your kids. Toddlers are recommended a daily dosage of three servings of milk at 4 ounces.
There are kids who prefer drinking juice to water and would not let any opportunity go waste to follow their parents in search of juice.
Having said that, Dr. Richard Allen believes that kids should not be consuming juice or any other beverage for that matter. He is of the view that such fluids are not at all nutritious and contain loads of sugar which can lead to following complications at a later stage in a kid’s life:
- Reduction in immunity
- Chronic diarrhoea
- Undesired calcium deficiency
It becomes impossible to return back to normal when your toddler gets to taste the delicious sugary juice. Some parents believe that their kids should be able to enjoy their lives to the fullest; treating their taste buds to delicacies of all kinds. In such a scenario, health is obviously the primary concern for the parents but letting their kids drink a little bit of juice is probably what most of them have to make a compromise on and we completely understand this.
The ideal scenario is to avoid soda and other sweetened beverages at all costs. You can let your kids have 4 to 6 ounces of 100% fruit juice daily. Even 100% fruit juice is likely to contain sugar so you may as well add some water to the juice to dilute it a touch.
What beverage and when?
We’ve made life easier for you because you do not need to worry deciding what is the best time for your kid to be served with what beverage. In order to ensure that your kid has the best nutritious and hydrated diet, you should serve milk to your kid at meals and water in between them. Limited amount of juice earlier in the day or in the afternoon can be a good option if you must feed them with juice. Remember sugar has the potential to keep the kids up for extended periods of time.
Let your kid do the talking
More often than not, your kid will let you know the amount of liquid he or she needs to consume. Even if they are not able to realize if they are thirsty or tell that they need water, if it lies before them, they will have a go at it naturally.
If you feel that your kid has reduced his or her water intake or that they have not had enough water in some time, place a cup of water near them and let them know it is there. When they know it’s there, you will be amazed at how frequently they drink from it. They may not go for it immediately but in a few minutes or so, they will surely make a grab for it.