Events, features and things to do for families in New Hampshire
By Wendy Thomas
Let's have a little discussion about the cost of water.
We all know that water is the best drink we can give our kids and ourselves, not fruit juice or those fancy electrolyte-balanced sugar energy drinks, but plain straight-up water. I remember when my kids were on pee-wee soccer and the parents were organizing snacks and drinks. Each week they wanted a parent to bring in enough Gatorade for each of the kids to get one bottle after each game.
These were six-year-old kids who were playing 15-minute halves in one soccer game. They didn't need expensive, empty-calorie sports drinks after a bit of running (even on a hot day), they needed water. I refused to participate in the drink schedule and my daughters packed their own water instead. (I'm also the mom who packed cheese sticks and apples on my snack day instead of those chocolate chip granola bars but that's another story.)
My point is that water is needed by us all and I'm willing to bet that many of our kids drink far too little of it. Go ahead and ask your kids how much water they drank today; chances are if they only had juice or milk with their breakfast, lunch and dinner, they probably didn't have much at all.
This is a shame because not only is water free, but also, to borrow a phrase from the milk advertisers, water does a body good. We happen to have a well and as a result our water tastes good. (My son who goes to school at a local college actually brings water from home back with him to drink at the dorm.) And because we are lactose-intolerant, milk has never been a meal beverage for us. I buy two cartons of juice at the grocery store and when those are gone, usually Sunday and Monday dinners, we switch to water, which is always on the table in pitchers, for the rest of the week.
We do this not only to be cost-effective but because water keeps your body healthy.
When my kids have a cold, I tell them to drink water; it helps to loosen up the phelgm and control a cough. If one of my kids has a headache in the summer, the first thing I'll say is ‘go get yourself some water' – dehydration can cause nasty headaches. If your skin is dry, drink water, if you have allergies, drink water. If you have an illness, guess what, you should drink water to flush things out. If you're hungry and you just ate, try some water, maybe it's that you're really thirsty and not hungry at all.
For our kids, a good quality water bottle (who needs those cheap, disposable ones? just keep refilling a BPA-free one) is as essential as a school backpack. And while my kids won't be the ones with the fancy juice packages, they will be the kids drinking the clear stuff and having their bodies thank them for it later.
Wendy Thomas lives in Merrimack with her husband and six children, and has been published in various regional magazines and newspapers. Check out her blog, Simple Thrift-Creative Living on Less, at http://simplethrift.wordpress.com.
Last updated by Parenting NH Administrator Feb 28, 2012.