The UK has one of the highest rates of childhood obesity in Europe. Fact. As the kids head back to school and college there is a lot of focus in the media on what the British youth are eating with a huge emphasis placed on the importance of a healthy, nutritious diet and cutting out those nasty sugars, high salt and fatty foodstuffs. Quite rightly too as we see this topic debated at the highest levels in Government and among the various food manufacturer bodies and health associations. Linked to these talks about fat and diet products; about sugar content and healthier eating; is of course the importance of drinking more water.

The positive health benefits derived from drinking the recommended daily amount of water is widely known; from feeling less lethargic, to improving skin, to suffering from less headaches, the benefits are far reaching. But research has shown that children also aren’t drinking enough of this vital resource. School children in particular are being affected by dehydration and it is having an impact on their concentration levels, focus and their ability to learn. By simply drinking more, irritability and tiredness associated with dehydration can be significantly reduced if not removed.

Here are some top tips on encouraging our classroom chums to be better hydrated:

  1. Lead by example – If children see the adults in their lives drinking plenty of water, they are more likely to copy. Obviously a huge positive effect of this is that you will be hydrated and feel the benefits too!
  2. Available water – Make sure your child always has a readily available source of drinking water. If there is always a cup on the ‘go’ they are more likely to remember to keep drinking it.
  3. Make it more interesting – Get your child a fun flask to drink the water out of to make it more appealing.
  4. Invest in a filter – filtered water tastes nicer and children are more likely to drink more if it tastes good! There are plenty of different water filters available on the market from a jug filter for the fridge to an under sink filter that provides a constant supply that is also chilled. Most popular are countertop water coolers, plumbed into your mains supply for total convenience and efficiency, dispense chilled and filtered drop of the good stuff at the touch of a button and allow the easy refill of their sports bottles. Multi-function instant KettleTaps not only serve boiling water for all your hot drink needs, they also give you chilled and, with the top end models, sparkling! Water as you want it from one tap!
  5. Avoid sugary, fizzy pop – to encourage your child to like water, start good hydration habits from the get-go. Water instead of fizzy pop will also help to protect their teeth from the high levels of added sugar; more on this another time! Try jazzing up the water by infusing fresh fruit, adding loads of ice, mint, orange, lemon or the choice in sugar-free squashes readily available in our stores.

Of course schools and colleges have a tremendously important role to play and by installing drinking water fountains, bubblers, and high volume water dispensers in the corridors and canteen areas this directly promotes drinking more water and frequent bottle refilling.

Here’s hoping your back to school and college week is going well and have a great weekend!