What’s So Great About Water

What’s So Great About Water

This post was originally posted in July 2013. However, with a polar vortex consuming many parts of North America, we wanted to stress the importance of drinking water. With housing temperatures getting cranked to combat the cold, you can feel the effects of dryness. Don’t forget to drink your water or tea. Over to Kathy….

I was recently reading a Prevention Magazine run-down of some of the healthiest foods to feed your kids and guess what made the list? Water. While it may not scream “dinner’s ready”, water definitely deserves a shout out, especially if you’re “lucky” enough to live somewhere the temps have been scorching lately. Of course, drinking enough water should be on everyone’s to-do list but staying hydrated is especially important for the wee ones. Here’s why.

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According to Naomi Neufeld, MD, a pediatric endocrinologist, “most parents would be amazed at how little water kids take in at school. “Water is an overlooked food…and kids often run around in a state of relative dehydration.”

She says, “dehydration, even a very mild case, makes kids listless, lethargic, and irritable (and) too little water creates false hunger in children, so they make poor food choices.” (Source)

According to www.kidshealth.org, water is key to proper digestion, perspiration (critical for cooling the body) and maintaining a healthy functioning lymphatic system, an integral player in the immune response.  In fact, every cell in the human body “depends on water to function normally”.

So how much is enough? While there is no formal “prescription” for water intake, symptoms (like lethargy, thirst, lightheadedness etc.) can indicate when your child may be dehydrated. And like so many things in life, what goes on in the ummm, potty, can tell the story as well. Dehydration often leads to constipation.  Too much water can lead to excessive urination and clear urine while too little water intake shows up as very dark yellow urine. The perfect hue? Some say a “lemonade” colour (but they are gross and never drink lemonade). Dr. Oz suggests you should be able to read through your urine (quick question: won’t that ruin your book??).  Best bets are to offer water at every meal as well as during and after outdoor activity and fill the kids up with high water content foods, easy to do in the summer when fruit is at its best. And there’s always lemonade….and a good book.

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