11 Ways to Drink More Water as a Family

Blue Water Glass
We all know that staying hydrated is healthy, and drinking your calories isn’t. But how do you get your kids (and yourself) to reach for water instead of sugar-laden drinks like pop, juice, sports drinks and other flavored beverages?
Here’s a list of the best tips we’ve found in our own homes and around the Internet.
1Limit options. If possible, pare beverage options in the house down to water, milk, and one type of (watered down) juice in your fridge. Ask your kids to drink a glass of water before going for other drinks.
2It tastes better cold! Jessica (my sister and KitchenFable partner) always drinks more water when she adds ice. She was surprised that the same trick worked on her boys as well! If you don’t have a convenient ice source, just keep chilled water in the fridge.
3The spa treatment. Add a few thin slices of lemon, lime, orange, and/or tangerine to a pitcher and fill with water. (Mint leaves, cucumber slices, berries and many other fresh fruits work too, so be creative!) Keep the pitcher in the fridge for a refreshing treat and top off with more water throughout the day. Squeezing a little fresh lemon or orange into your glass works too.
fruit in water pitcher
4Fruity ice! Use frozen fruit as ice cubes (super easy!) or toss fresh fruit into ice cube trays, fill the rest of the way with water and freeze to add color and a little flavor to your drink. Bonus: for special occasions, eBay and Amazon have an incredible variety of shaped ice molds (think alphabet, Hello Kitty, Star Wars, superheroes, and more).
5Personalize it. Let your kids pick out their own special, personal water cups and/or bottles to use throughout the day. Maybe they’ll opt for something with glitter, or decorated with their favorite cartoon characters. The idea is the cup is especially for them, AND they only get to use it when they are drinking water.
colorful drinking straws
6Straws. This may not be true for everyone, but I drink WAY more water if my cup has a straw. Try moustache straws, eyeglass straws or crazy straws for extra fun!
7Track and reward. Use sticker charts or even mobile apps to set goals and track how much water each person drinks. Come up with simple rewards. If your kid drinks more water if you do a little dance every time they finish a cup, it’s worth it (and you’ll burn a few calories too).
8Take it on the go. Make it a habit to fill insulated water bottles with icewater before you leave the house. Bring them with you everywhere to make good hydration easy.
9Order water at restaurants, even at the drive-thru. It’s healthier and saves money. You could even take the money you save from skipping soda and put it in a change jar to save up for something fun!
10Make it accessible. If you have younger children, consider purchasing a large water dispenser (the kind with a tap) and putting it on a shelf in your fridge that your kids can easily access. This way, they can refill their own water glass! It’s a great way to promote independence as well as healthy habits.
11Let them have (some) juice. Dr. Sears recommends diluting your kids’ favorite 100% fruit juice with the following formula: 1 part juice to 3 parts water. This means no more purchasing those expensive single serving juice boxes (your wallet will thank you too).
Did You Know?

Municipal tap water has to pass more rigorous safety tests than bottled water, so the best water source for your family is also the cheapest (and most environmentally friendly) one. Don’t like the taste? Try an inexpensive faucet or pitcher filter. Our family agrees that cold, filtered tap water tastes just as good as, if not better, than any stuff from a disposable bottle!
What about those little squeeze bottles and powder packets that add color and flavor to your water without adding calories? While they probably aren’t the end of the world, we don’t recommend them. Almost all non-caloric sweeteners (even sucralose, the most common one these days) are questionable in terms of long-term safety. In addition, studies show that people who drink them often tend to make up the calories they don’t drink by eating more, and they can reinforce cravings for sweet foods as well. So use with caution, and pay attention to how your body reacts to these types of drinks.

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