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Juicy, Juicy You! Encouraging Children to Drink More Water

Publication Number: P2928
View as PDF: P2928.pdf

Be Smart!

Be Active!

Be a Leader!

Helping young children develop healthy habits like drinking more water can be challenging for families and teachers. Use the information below to engage young children in activities and teach them about good health habits.

You are living and growing every day! Almost 60 percent of your body is made of water. We also need water because:

  • Drinking water helps us stay alive.
  • Drinking water helps us fight off illness and stay healthy.
  • Drinking water helps us digest our food and eliminate waste (poop).

As you move around and play, your body loses water through sweat, breathing, and elimination. It is very important to replace the water you lose. You can do that by making sure you drink water throughout the day.

You should drink more water when:

  • You are being active.
  • You are in a hot climate.
  • You have a fever.
  • You are sick and have diarrhea or are vomiting.

Often children request other beverages because of flavor or sweetness. Encourage children to drink water by infusing it with fruit. See the recipe to the right for tasty water combinations.

Recommendations for how much fluid, including water, a child may need will vary. Please ask your child’s doctor about daily fluid requirements.

Cartoon bee with glasses holding a carrot in one hand and an apple in the other.
Sunny Smart says, “Drink more water!”

Have a cup of fruit water!

A glass of water, a bunch of grapes, an orange, a lemon, and a strawberry.


  • 1½ small oranges, sliced thinly
  • ½ gallon of water


  • Adults: Pour ½ gallon of water into a pitcher. Slice oranges in circles (width wise), very thin.
  • Have your child place the oranges in the water. Stir the water.
  • Place the water in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to chill. Pour it into a glass and enjoy!
  • To make other fruit waters, try lemons, limes, apples, berries, peaches, and kiwi.


Mayo Clinic. (2014). Water: How much should you drink?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Water and nutrition.

Publication 2928 (POD-04-24)

By Julie Parker, PhD, Associate Professor, Human Sciences, and Ginger Cross, PhD, former Assistant Research Professor, Social Science Research Center.

Research reported in this publication was supported by the Office of the Director, National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25OD011162. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

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