Boosting your water intake is easier when the water is clean and pure. If the adults in your household aren't great about drinking plenty of water, the kids probably won't be easy to convince, either!
While your baby shouldn't drink plain water during the first six months of life, once they're exposed to solid food you'll want to boost their access to fresh filtered water so use berkey filter for your water. For a one year old, 8 ounces of water per day is healthy, and as the child gets bigger, that water intake needs will go up.
If you're breastfeeding, your milk will provide the baby with all the necessary fluids. However, as they get interested in what's on your plate and solid food in general, their fluid intake will need to be upped to promote healthy digestion and avoid constipation.
Serve as an Example
Make sure you have your Berkey visible and let your child see you drinking from it and relishing the water straight out the tank. As your baby notices this, they may want their own water in their own bottle. Invest in a non-reactive container suited for the baby to carry as they start to toddle.
Because most of us have our filters on the counter, water is obviously an important part of our day. However, if you load water bottles and refrigerate them overnight, your child may not make the connection. Again, make sure they know that the water in your cup came from the Berkey and is fresh and delicious.
Prepare for Mess
If your child sees you loving fresh water, they'll want some. Be ready for messiness. Your child may not understand that the water in the sippy cup is just like the water in your glass; they want to be like you, so your glass may be the only one that matters! This will probably get messy. Hang in there. You're building a great habit in your child; mopping will be part of the price that you pay.
Make it Easy
Take care when buying sippy cups for your child. If they have to work hard to get the water out of the container, they probably won't. Instead, use cups that are easy to carry and easy to drink from. If you can, find cups that match the water bottles you and the other adults in your house use. The child will connect this with water and see you using it, so they'll use theirs.
If you can, take these water cups on the road early. The habits you display to your kids will be the ones they copy. If you stop at a convenience store and get a soda, you will hear a lot of complaining until you share, and this teaches kids that artificial flavors and bubbles, as well as chemicals and caffeine, are normal. Do your best to avoid this so your kids learn to reach for water first.
Safety is Key
Once your child can reach the Berkey, they may try to use it and make a mess. Just as you cover the outlets and stairways in your home, raise the Berkey until your child can manage the action of the handle. Set the Berkey under a cabinet so it can't be tilted, or install a couple of hooks and bungee it to the wall until your child is just a bit older. This temporary fix may look a little odd, but you only need it until your child is tall enough, and dexterous enough, to open and close the spigot on their own.
Continue the Training
As your child grows, encourage them to clean and refill their own water bottles so they have clean water at hand as soon as they open the refrigerator. An older child may be given the task of checking the Berkey before school and before bed to make sure there's water in the top reservoir. When they're ready for their own place, a Berkey is a great housewarming present!
We all need water, and too many of us drink liquids that are loaded with unhealthy chemicals, dyes and sugar. Building a healthy habit of water intake can start as soon as your child is six months old. Discuss their water intake with your pediatrician and get them their first cup.