Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

I know it is important to drink plenty of water but how much should my kids be drinking?

We are constantly told to drink plenty of water for our own bodies, but very few talk about how much water kids should be drinking!

More parents are limiting sugar sweetened beverages and even juices for the kids in the family and are replacing it with more water but how much is enough and more importantly, how much could be too much?

Water is essential for the human body and makes up about 75% of our body weight. Water is vital for many bodily functions including keeping our temperature stable, bringing nutrients to our cells and eliminating waste by-products from our bodies helping to improve our well-being. This includes our kids.

How Much Water Do Kids Really Need?

Naturally the amount of water each child needs will depend on their size, age and even their gender. How physically active they are throughout the day will also influence their water requirements.

When we think about how much water a body needs, young or old, it is important to remember that is not just from a glass of water. Food including fruits and vegetables contain water; beverages have water content and the water we drink all add to the total.

Here is a handy chart from the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) Tables. Recommended Daily Allowance and Adequate Intake Values: Total Water and Macronutrients.

Age RangeGenderTotal Water
(Liters per day)
4-8 yearsGirls and Boys1.3
9-13 yearsGirls2.1
Boys2.4
14-18 yearsGirls2.3
Boys3.3

Kids Total Daily Water Requirements 

This is just a guide. If your child is playing sports or outside in the heat, he or she may need more water to compensate for their losses. A good rule of thumb is to drink ½ – 2 cups of additional water for every 15-20 minutes playing sports or exercising in the heat.

Encourage enough fruits and vegetables and dairy beverages to be sure adequate fluid levels are reached each day. Take the fluid in their foods into consideration when calculating their intake.

Staying active, practicing good eating habits and drinking enough unsweetened beverages like water are great lifelong habits for the entire family!

Leave a reply