LUNCHBOX IDEAS TO GET KIDS DRINKING MORE
Keeping children well hydrated is important for their health and development, but often our kids are out and about, so we can’t always be there to make sure they keep drinking.
Lunch boxes are a great way to give kids the hydration they need. But, lots of soft drinks contain sugar, and too much sugar is not healthy for children, so what should we be giving them?
We have all seen water bottles come back from school or day trips half full, but how worried about them not drinking enough should we be? And how much drink should we be putting in their lunch boxes?
HOW MUCH SHOULD KIDS DRINK A DAY?
How much children should be drinking depends on the age range. The European Food Safety Authority recommends:
- 4-8 year old’s – 1.1-1.3 litres per day
- 9-13 year old girls – 1.3-1.5 litres per day
- 9-13 year old boys – 1.5-1.7 litres per day
How much does your toddler drink at the moment? If kids are having drinks at home in the morning and evening, think about how much they need to take on their day out to hit their targets!
HOW MUCH SUGAR SHOULD KIDS HAVE A DAY?
Sugar is found in many drinks and cutting down on sweet drinks is a great way to ensure a healthy amount of sugar is consumed. Have a look at the recommended intakes according to the NHS and see how this compares to drinks your children might consume:
- 4-6 year old’s – 19 grams
- 7-10 year old’s – 24 grams
- 11+ - 30 grams
Giving your children healthy, low sugar drinks is a great way to ensure they don’t overindulge on the sweet stuff! Our suggestions are perfect for keeping kids sugar intake at the right level.
HOW CAN I GET MY KID TO DRINK MORE?
Not being with kids means you don’t know how much they are drinking. When kids are at school or having a trip, sending them off with a lunchbox means you can give them the nutrients they need and keep an eye on what they are eating. The same goes for drinking!
- Give kids fun water bottles that they want to carry around.
- Get some crazy ice trays to make some cool shapes and keep drinks cool.
- Change up their drinks so each day is new and exciting.
HEALTHY DRINKS FOR LUNCH BOXES
But of course the most important part of getting kids to drink is what they are drinking. Here are some great, healthy suggestions to keep children hydrated.
Water is the best drink for all of us. There is no sugar, no calories and it hydrates us really well. Sometimes it can be hard to get kids to drink water, but offering it to them little and often is a great way to improve their consumption. Water also doesn’t fill you up too much, so you can ensure kids eat all of their solid food too!
Milk is a great way to change up what you put in children’s bottles. Milk has healthy fats and key nutrients like calcium and vitamin D that children need as they grow. If you don’t drink dairy you can try nut milks or oat milks but beware the sugar content on these milk alternatives. If in doubt, always check the label.
3. INFUSED WATER
Infused water is an amazing way to get your kids to drink more water. Unlike squash or syrups, infusions contain much less sugar and release natural flavours to make the water taste nicer. Infusions are different to flavoured waters, which are also high in sugar, and the infusion bags can be carried around and added to water from any source.
With such a range of infusion flavours combinations to try, kids won’t get bored of drinking the same thing every day, and you can make sure they stay hydrated.
4. SMOOTHIES AND FRUIT JUICES
Encouraging kids to eat fruit and veg is a must, but sometimes it can be hard to get enough in every day. If you are struggling to meet the 5 a day target you might want to include smoothies or fruit juices as part of kids packed lunch. These drinks will not only keep children hydrated, but also give them the nutrients they need to support their activities.
150ml of smoothies or fruit juices per day is recommended by the NHS, as part of a balanced diet, but remember these drinks contain higher amounts of sugar, so no more than the recommended amount.
If you are making homemade smoothies, why not try adding tea? It can enhance the flavor of your smoothies and provide you with an antioxidant boost!