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Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Much Water Should My Toddler Drink

Making sure that your child begins to drink water early is a great way to ensure that your child gets proper nutrition and creates a great habit to prevent obesity in their future. Even though water has no calories or nutritional value it is still very valuable to your toddler. A good amount to probably start with is 10-15 ozs.

According to pediatricians you should not give a baby younger than 6 months old water. First, there is enough water in their formula and breast milk( 94 percent water). Also, giving a baby younger than 6 months water can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb the nutrients that are in both formula and breast milk. And although small sips will not hurt the baby, it is much better to be safe than sorry, and to check with your pediatrician.

There is also a consideration of water intoxication. This happens when too much water dilutes the concentration of sodium that is in the body. This upsets the electrolyte balance and causes the tissues to swell. Water intoxication can also cause seizures and even coma.

It is a good idea to introduce the child to water before juices and other drinks with sugar in them, even 100 percent fruit juice. After milk make that a child’s second choice. So when they ask for something to drink give them water first. Another good idea is even with 100% fruit juice you can add water to dilute it slightly.

If your child absolutely does not like drinking water try giving them items that are made of predominately water like actual fruits, soup, milk, smoothies  etc. Also try making sure the water is cold as children don’t really care for room temperature water. Vegetables are also an excellent source of water, even though it’s not as direct.

You want to make sure that you don’t over do it. Giving a toddler too much water tends to make them feel full and could limit the amount of food intake that contributes to their growth. Remember toddlers have small tummies that can get full really fast. So you don’t want to diminish their appetite and jeopardize vital calories and nutrients that they need for growing.

This is the same reason why you do not want to give a toddler more than 4 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice. In addition to not wanting to spoil their appetite you also want your child to get the fiber from fruits and the additional nutrients in the actual fruit itself.

Lastly, make sure you are a good example also by drinking water yourself. It is so  much more effective and impactful when you model the behavior you want your children to have.

So remember to introduce your child to water early, after 6 months of age. Choose milk and water over sugary drinks like soda, kool aid, gator ade, and fruit drinks. If your child is over the age of 2 low fat or non fat milk is recommended. And be a good example and role model to your child by drinking more water also.

For more info get a free report on healthy eating at http://www.healthykidsweightloss.com .

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