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Spanish children only drink half as much water as they should, according to data from the BRITA Report on water prepared by a Committee of Experts of the Foundation for Nutritional Research (FIN). This report indicates that 70 percent of 4- to 6-year-olds drink little water during the day. Experts indicate that a child weighing 20 kilos needs to drink 1.2 liters a day, increasing this amount in the summer months and when they engage in active physical activity such as sports.
Nutritionists advise parents to accustom children to drinking water instead of soft drinks or carbonated beverages, since if good eating habits are instilled from childhood, it is very likely that these will be maintained during adulthood.
An easy way to know if your child is drinking enough water is to look at the color of the urine: if enough water is ingested, the urine is light in color, while if you drink little it is dark in color and has an intense smell. To ensure that the child is well hydrated, it is advisable to offer him water with meals and be attentive outside of them for any sign that he is thirsty, since the little ones, who still do not speak, do not know how to ask for it. Thirst is a reliable indication that the child needs water, if he does not demand it, it can be offered, but he should not be forced to drink it.
Water is an essential element for life. It is found in the blood, in cells, in secretions ... and in quantity it is the largest component of the human body. The child's body is 80 percent water, while that of an adult is made up of 65 percent water. For this reason, children require greater water exchange. Water helps cleanse the body of toxins and elements that must be expelled. In addition, it helps in the digestion of food and is important to avoid constipation. Water is also the ideal drink to accompany meals and the best to quench thirst.
During his first months, if he is breastfed, it is not necessary to give the infant water to drink, except in special situations, such as when the heat is too intense, he has a fever or he has diarrhea. In principle, breast milk provides you with the amount of fluid necessary to keep your body in optimal condition. For this reason, it is also important for the mother to increase her water intake during breastfeeding. When breastfeeding ends, it is advisable to add water to the baby's diet in an amount equivalent to the weight of one of the meals. Drinking water is important, especially during hot months, as you sweat more and consequently lose more fluids.
Recommended daily amount of water based on your age According to expert nutritionists in infant feeding, from three months of life, babies need to drink 750 to 850 ml of water per day. From six months on, between 950 and 1,100 ml daily, at nine months between 1,100 and 1,250 ml and from their first birthday between 1,150 and 1,300 ml each day.
However, the compensation of water in the body must be proportional to the expense that is generated. Therefore, it is essential to increase consumption when practicing physical exercises, the room temperature is high, the child has a fever or, for example, has diarrhea. It should be borne in mind that water is also obtained through other types of beverages such as smoothies, juices and milk, and from liquid foods such as soups, vegetable creams, fruit porridge or ice cream.
Keep in mind that milk is important for children, due to its high calcium content, but it is recommended that children drink a maximum of half a liter of milk a day or its equivalent in dairy derivatives. A higher amount can take away their appetite and prevent them from eating other foods that are also necessary. Whenever possible, children should drink water at room temperature and not cold, because cold water can cause bloating.
Children should always be offered water during meals. In order for children's bodies to be able to optimize their water consumption, it is advisable to drink before, during and after their physical activity or games as follows:
- One to two hours before playing: a glass and a half.
- 10 to 15 minutes before playing: a glass and a quarter.
- During the game: half glass.
- After Game: one to two glasses.
You can read more articles similar to Water and children's thirst, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.