October 5, 2010

H2O Woes

Is getting your child to drink water a daily battle in your household?  If it is, I’m sure that sending water with school snacks or lunches is like a scene from The Excorsist.  With the other kids bringing juice boxes, Kool-aid Jammers and pop (ack!) to school, it can be very difficult to convince your child that water is the best choice.

Tough love seems to work for my family.  If Aidan doesn’t want to bring water (or milk) to school, he can drink from the water fountain when he's thirsty or have nothing to drink until he gets home.  It's his choice, there are no other options.  I know...mean mom!  I know that this doesn’t work for all families, though.

Cue the colourful world of water bottles!  Children love bright colours, ‘cool’ designs and independence.  Bring your child shopping and allow them to choose their own reusable water bottle.

There are so many choices, from plastic to aluminum.  Whatever you choose, make sure that they are BPA-free, are made of materials that won’t leach into the water, and are leak-proof.

To help you out, I've listed numerous hydration bottles that can easily be found in stores.

Large selection of sizes, colours and designs
Price Range: $20-$50

Four different styles, three different sizes, numerous colours
Price Range: $10-$20

Large selection of sizes, colours and designs
Price Range: $20

Bottles do not transfer the temperature to the outside of the bottle (not too cold for a child to hold onto)
Reasonably priced, simple design, solid colours, three sizes
Price Range: $20-$30

Child-friendly generic colours and designs on their hydration bottles
Simple pink and blue colours on their ‘Foogo’ sippy cup line
Numerous brand-name designs on their lunch bags/containers/bottles (ie: Spiderman and Tinkerbell)
Price Range: $10-$30

Born Free
Trusted BPA-free baby bottle manufacturer
Small selection for bigger kids
Price Range: $10-$15

Most of the water bottles listed can be purchased at health food stores and sporting good stores.  Thermos and Born Free can be purchased at most grocery stores and major department stores.

You may be tempted to fill your child’s water with ‘singles’ powders, or send them to school with fruity water.  Most contain artificial sweeteners.  Nestea/Crystal Light Singles powders and Nestle Purelife Splash fruit-flavoured water all contain sucralose.  Research artificial sweeteners such as sucralose, aspartame, saccharin, maltitol and sorbitol before deciding if they belong in your family's diet.  And remind yourself and your children that water isn't meant to taste sweet.  Its job is to hydrate our bodies.  I don't want my children expecting something sweet tasting every time they have a drink.  'Sweet' rhymes with 'treat' for a reason!

If you have a preschooler at home, buy him his own water bottle as well.  Let him drink water out of it when you are on an outing or playing outdoors.  Getting him used to drinking water from a reusable water bottle at such a young age will make sending him with one to school much easier on everyone.

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