Good hydration is vital to health in so many ways that it is important to make regularly drinking water as much of a habit as eating your five a day. A great place to start is by getting into the habit of always serving up water at family mealtimes. This will quickly become second nature and if the glass is there right in front of them everyone is likely to drink more water.
While children may ask for juice and adults may be tempted by a glass of wine, water is the healthy choice as it will not add any extra calories and will not affect the taste of the meal.
After all serving up a healthy salad with a glass of fizzy pop is not only counter-productive, it will also set in place a sugar craving that will over-ride the natural tastiness of the healthy meal.
Don't fall into bad habits with mealtime drinks
If children get used to food and drink that is packed with sugar their palate will become used to that taste and their bodies will begin to crave sugar.
Likewise alcohol, while a glass of wine may help you unwind, enjoying a couple of glasses habitually at mealtimes will soon see the calories add up. In fact two large glasses of wine has the same calories as two slices of cake, so make sure you are consciously, rather than habitually, enjoying a tipple.
Take action where it is easy serve filtered water at mealtimes.
It's not just drinking water though that adds to mealtime hydration, adding in water-rich vegetables and preserving the goodness of the fruit and veg by serving raw, steamed or mixed into a soup all help.
Water-rich foods include:
Lessons learned early are often lessons learned for life and making sure food and drink are packed with healthy vitamins and minerals, rather than sugar and calories at family meals will help to make this approach second nature.
Why is hydration so important?
Drinking enough water will make you feel better both mentally and physically, will help your skin and will support a healthy lifestyle. Here's how:
Fights tiredness - If you are feeling lethargic it could be the early signs of dehydration, sip water to keep energy levels topped up and your mind sharp.
Helps you feel full - Fight snacking habits and overeating by drinking water regularly.
Keeps your body working - Water is absolutely vital to the body, helping to keep the blood pumping to major organs including the brain and the heart.
Flushes out toxins - Flushing away the toxins allows the body to function healthily and keeps skin looking good (as well as fighting cellulite).
Boosts skin moisture - Dry, eczema-prone skin will benefit from drinking water to boost the moisture content of skin, while drinking water can also help to fend off the signs of age again by keeping moisture-levels topped up.
Taking a healthy approach to family dinners means making sure hydration is at the top of the menu. Naturally a healthy choice, drinking filtered water will compliment the food that our bodies need to thrive and enjoy life at our best.