Did you know that by the time your child feels thirsty, she is already mildly dehydrated? Many young children don’t even know how to identify their thirst. A recent study found that as few as 10% of boys and 15% of girls get the recommended daily amount of water!

When kids aren’t properly hydrated (and we don’t mean with those orange or green-colored sports drinks), their mental acuity goes down, they become tired, irritable, get headaches, and have dark yellow urine. Your child’s body is 60% water, and water is essential for every system in her body. Fresh pure water is what we’re made of. It’s healthy, almost free, and it’s what we all need to thrive.

It’s recommended that children drink at least 6-8 cups of water daily (up to 1.5 – 2 litres), but parents often allow their kids to drink sugary drinks and sodas instead. Do your child a favour: Pack water in his lunch, serve water at meals, and keep the drinks and sodas out of reach (or better yet, out of the house). Don’t be fooled by “no-sugar” diet drinks either. Sugar substitutes are chemicals which are continually being found to be even worse for your health than white sugar or even high fructose corn syrup.

The best way to get your child to drink water regularly is to drink it yourself — regularly. And if she absolutely has to have a soda, save it for a special occasion, or once on the weekend.

To be especially green, install a water at your kitchen tap filter (you can get them for under $100 at your home supply store) and fill stainless steel sports-cap bottles instead of buying cases of environmentally hazardous plastic water bottles. Now go drink up!