Getting your kids to drink enough water can be difficult, but Smart Start Child Care is here to help.

Drinking water is an essential part of being healthy for both kids and adults, but unfortunately, the majority of American kids don’t drink enough water. According to one estimate, about 65 percent of school-aged kids who are 14 years old and younger don’t drink enough water. Because dehydration can affect every system in your child’s body, including brain development, your child needs to be properly hydrated in order to get the most out of our early child education program. But how do you get your child to drink water instead juice, soda and other sugar-packed beverages? Here are a few things you can do:

#1. Purchase sparkling water.

If your child is a fan of soda, then sparkling water may be a great alternative. It is carbonated, just like soda, but it doesn’t have all of the sugar. There are also many different flavors of sparkling water to choose from. Keep in mind that tonic water is not the same as soda water or sparkling water, and it has both sugar and calories.

#2. Infuse your water with fruit and herbs.

Plain water can taste bland if your child is used to drinking soda, sports drinks or juice, but luckily, it’s easy to add flavor without adding sugar. Lemons, strawberries, mint leaves, basil leaves and cucumbers are all delicious additions to water.

#3. Pick out a water bottle with your child.

Let your child pick out a water bottle that they love. If they pick it out themselves, they are more likely to use it. Also, having a water bottle handy will ensure that your child drinks water more often instead of reaching for sugary beverages.