Children in the United States are not drinking as much water as they should, and the deficiency can have far-reaching implications. For instance, impaired cognitive and mental performance are linked to inadequate hydration. According to the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, only 15 to 60 percent of boys and 10 to 54 percent of girls, depending on age, drink the minimum amount of water recommended by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. Children obtain much of their water from sweetened beverages rather than plain water, the researchers found. And those who drink the most plain water consume fewer sweetened beverages and eat fewer high-calorie foods.
Researchers suggest giving children water instead of sweetened beverages during the day and between meals. If you need to make it more appealing, put sliced cucumbers, oranges, lemons or strawberries in ice water, the researchers suggested. And if your child is hooked on sodas, she advised transitioning to sparkling or flavored unsweetened waters.