Access to drinking water throughout the day gives students an opportunity to stay hydrated which may improve their cognitive function (readiness to learn), dental and physical health. When children drink more water, they consume fewer calories from sugar-sweetened beverages and increase their energy levels and ability to concentrate.
It is best to encourage students to carry water bottles during the school day. If possible keep small pitchers or jugs of water in the classroom and take them to the playground. This will allow children to pour water into reusable or disposable cups when thirsty.
- Clean and sanitize water pitchers, dispensers and reusable cups daily.
- Use child-sized pitchers so children can enhance their motor skills while pouring water for themselves.
- Ask parents to donate age appropriate water bottles to the classroom.
- Recommend parents provide water for healthy classroom celebrations.
- Ensure that children drink water before and after physical activity (during class, recess, physical education, etc.).
- Add orange, lemon, or lime slices, or fresh herbs like mint to water pitchers to enhance taste and encourage children to drink water.
- Try these Flavored Water Recipes
- Educate parents about the importance of water consumption, and about limiting children’s juice consumption to 4-6 oz. of 100% fruit juice per day while at home or in school.
- Hang posters around the classroom or the school.
- Reinforce the importance of drinking water throughout classroom lessons.
- Incorporate water into lessons on health, nutrition, and physical education.
- Talk and read about water and healthy beverages during circle time or other class times.
- Have students create posters about the importance of drinking water and healthier beverages. Post near water fountains and kitchens, and other high-traffic areas, such as by the door where children are dropped off or picked up.
- When purchasing toys and books, choose those with examples of healthier beverage consumption in pictures and activities.
Encourage school staff to model healthy behaviors, including water consumption during teaching hours.
- Wellness Policies provide guidelines for schools to create environments that promote healthy behaviors. Learn more about FSNE’s role in school wellness.