How Much Water Does Your Child Need to Drink?

short glass with water and slices of kiwi

It can be tough to get our kids to drink enough water to stay hydrated, let alone as much as the recommended amount! But do you know how much water that is? We’ve got the run down on how much your kids need to drink based on age and activity along with some fun and easy ways to get to that recommended hydration level.

How Much Water Do They Need?

Children 2-8 years old should have 44 ounces or 5 1/2 cups daily. Kids 9-13 need 7-8 cups or 64 ounces a day. But, those numbers don’t take in account for activity. If your child is active outdoors, indoors, even swimming, they will need to consume more water. If you see sweat, they need to hydrate and replenish the fluid in their bodies.

These numbers are strictly for water – not electrolyte drinks like sports drinks. Meaning if your child is drinking those as well, they need to consume water on top of that. Electrolyte drinks are not a replacement for water.

So How Can We Get Our Kids to Drink More Water?

Make It Fun

Why use a boring cup when you can make it fun! Have your kids pick out their own water bottles or silly cups at the store. Or hit the dollar section and pick up inexpensive water bottles, cups and straws. Decorate your new found treasures with stickers, permanent markers or rhinestones. Grab silly straws or paper straws to encourage more sips. Mark goals on the side of water bottles with times of the day or meal times using permanent markers.

Spice It Up

Grab fruit, vegetables, even spices like cinnamon to create delicious agua frescas. Combine lemon and cucumber slices with sprigs of mint. Or peaches and strawberries. Cucumber and pineapple. Lemon and cinnamon – the possibilities are endless! Let your littles mix and match to their hearts content. When you find a combination you like, mix a big pitcher of filtered water and your favorite fruit combination to chill in the refrigerator and enjoy all day long!

Model Behavior

It’s easy to tell our kids they need to drink more water, but the best way to encourage healthier habits is to show them! For healthy adults, it’s recommended that we hydrate with 1/2 – 1 oz of water for every pound that we weigh. So a 150 pound person should drink 75 – 150 ozs of water – or roughly 9 – 18 cups of water a day.

Start each day with at least 8 ozs of water. Grab a water bottle and check the amount of water it holds. Then calculate how many full bottles you would need to drink in a day to get to your goal.

Need more ideas? See our post “3 Ways to Keep Kids Hydrated”.