It’s the middle of August, and it’s HOT out. It’s important to make sure that your child is getting enough water to prevent dehydration. Non-verbal children cannot always express their thirst, and children who have sensory processing disorders often cannot express or recognize thirst. That puts these kids at greater risk for dehydration. The best way to prevent dehydration is by continually offering water, but some kids are resistant to water, so here are a couple of ways to overcome that resistance.

1.Make It Fun — The more fun water is when it’s offered, the more likely your child is to eventually accept it. Start by setting the example and drinking water yourself, even when your go out to eat for a “treat”. If she empties her bottle or cup, get excited. If your child is used to sugary drinks, make the transition to water easier by diluting fruit juice, infusing water with fruit, or offering natural electrolyte products (I like Ultima). Have your child help pick out a special cup, water bottle, or bendy straw that she loves and wants to use. Make sure she has a water bottle that’s easy for her to hold and use herself. Pack the water bottle when you leave the house (bonus points if you bring yours and model using it!). Freeze fruit to use as ice or freeze berries in an ice tray to make fun ice cubes; you can also use fun molds to make shaped ice.

2.Consider Dietary Water Intake — Total water intake comes from water, other beverages, and food. Some fruits and veggies contain as much as 96% water, so offering those can help meet water intake needs. While fruits do contain fructose, they also contain lots of fiber, which helps to keep blood sugar stable. Watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, peaches, oranges, cucumber, lettuce, zucchini, celery, tomatoes, bell peppers, cauliflower, cabbage, and grapefruit all contain over 85% water.

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The views expressed in this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition and should not be substituted for medical or nutritional advice.