Healthy hydration for children aged 1-4 years

Healthy hydration for children is Important fact. Infants and young children have a higher proportion of body water than adults. They are also less heat tolerant and may be more likely to get dehydrated, especially when being physically active and in hot climates. Encouraging children to drink fluids regularly is important as children may not remember to have a drink by themselves. To read about Healthy hydration for children aged 5 ti 11 click here.

Kids of that age will have roughly 6-8 cups or fluid beakers a day (about 150-200ml a serving). Time you give children a meal and snack, it’s a smart idea to provide a drink and provide more if the weather is warm or busy. Drinking water can be delivered during the day and it is a safe option.

What count as Hydration?

Roughly 80% of our hydration needs come from fluids like water, milk and tea. The remaining 20% comes from high-water foods such as fruit, veggies and yogurt. Some fluid and food choices are better than others for hydration. For example, alcoholic beverages are fluids that increase water losses by blocking anti-diuretic hormones

What are the best sources of hydration for children?

For addition, clear water and milk will also make a beneficial contribution to nutrient intakes including calcium, iodine and protein, and these options for young children are discussed below.

Children may not know to drink because they are hungry and are relying on carers to offer them liquids and the children must be allowed to drink regularly during the day.

Water is an excellent choice throughout the day because it hydrates without providing extra calories or risking harm to teeth.


Milk is a useful source of nutrients, especially protein, iodine and calcium. Children under 2 years should have whole milk. Those eating well and having a healthy, balanced diet can drink semi-skimmed milk after 2 years. Skimmed or 1% milks are not suitable as a main drink for children under 5. Unsweetened calcium-fortified dairy alternatives (e.g. oat, soya or almond drinks) ideally also fortified with other minerals (e.g. iodine) and vitamins can be offered from 1 year, with the exception of rice milk, which is not suitable for children under 5.

Fruit and vegetable juices and smoothies can provide some vitamins and minerals. However, they also contain free sugars and can be acidic, which is harmful to teeth. If given, keep them to mealtimes and dilute.


Sugar-free drinks can hydrate without adding extra sugars but these may contain acids that can be harmful to teeth and some of these drinks also contain caffeine.

Sugary drinks are best avoided as they provide sugars but few other nutrients. Too much sugar can lead to weight gain and tooth decay. These drinks can also fill young children up and reduce their appetite at mealtimes.

Tea and coffee are not suitable for young children (especially when sweetened) as they contain caffeine and can reduce the amount of iron absorbed from food, especially if they’re given with meals

Cups for young children

It’s best for children of this age not to have a feeding bottle for drinks. A free-flow cup can be used and, as soon as they are ready, they can move on to an open-lidded cup.

Breastfeeding

Children aged 1-2 years will be getting most of the nutrients the need from solid foods but breastfeeding can continue alongside this. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends breastfeeding alongside appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.

Rules of Hydration

Water losses via sweat (and, to a lesser extent, breathing) increase during exercise, and the harder and longer you work, the more water you lose. Water, however, is not the only thing that escapes from us during exercise — electrolytes like sodium and potassium are lost, too.

Before a Workout
Hydrate frequently throughout the day. Cap off your fluid tank with 1/2–1 cup of water 15–20 minutes before exercise.

During a Workout
While you work out, consume 1/2 cup fluid for every 20 minutes of exercise.

After a Workout
Drink 2 cups of water for every pound of body weight lost.Sports Drinks
Add a sports drink or electrolyte supplement during and after exercise if you’re a particularly heavy sweater or work out for more than 45 minutes.

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