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By Leslie Bonci

Being well hydrated is critically important to excel at learning and at play. Hydration NEVER takes a vacation. So, make sure your children #Thinktheirdrink.

Why does consuming enough fluid matter? One word…hydration. It is important for digestion, regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients to the cells, cognitive function, and sports performance. Not being well hydrated can result in kids being slower, weaker, and tiring earlier in activity as well as increasing the risk of injury. Plus, kids are more susceptible to being sub-hydrated. As parents, we need to ensure that our kids drink often and enough every day.

What counts as a fluid?

I am using the word fluid because there are lots of ways to hydrate. We could choose to drink:

  • Water – regular or carbonated
  • Milk such as MOO’V™
  • Juice
  • Lemonade
  • Sports drinks (when appropriate)

We can also choose water-containing foods such as:

  • Fruits – such as melon, berries, citrus fruits
  • Veggies – such as celery, peppers, salsa
  • Popsicles or frozen fruit bars
  • Gelatin
  • Soups

So how do you know if your kids are well hydrated?

Urine should be a larger quantity and lighter in color.


Are there signs that your child(ren) need(s) more fluid?

They may need to drink more if they complain of the following, 

  • Noticeable Thirst, Muscle cramps, Weakness  
  • Headache, Nausea, Fatigue
  • Burning in Stomach, Dry mouth, Dizziness/lightheadedness
  • Tiring Earlier in Exercise

How do we help our kids make good hydration a habit?


(8 ounce)
Girls 4-8 5
Girls 9-13 7
Boys 4-8 5
Boys 9-13 8


I love recommending MOO’V™, as milk is not only a fluid and really a food in a glass. It’s one stop shopping for nutrition. If you select juice, pick those that are 100% fruit juice. No need to buy fancy water, tap water is fine. I am not a fan of sugar sweetened beverages for kids but a flavored milk or 100% juice provide the sweetness kids crave without the excess sugar they don’t need.


Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN, is the Dietary & Nutrition Strategic Advisor at Dari® and MOO’V™ milk. With over two decades of experience, she is an expert in nutrition with many of Leslie’s blog posts center around active eating and fueling for sport. She is the Head Nutritionist for the Kansas City Chiefs and has been a consulting sports dietitian in the NFL, MLB, and NHL, and worked with Olympic athletes. Bonci has co-authored three books with an active eating focus, is a blogger for US News Eat + Run, and is a sought-after expert for television, radio, print and online media, Bonci speaks regularly on topics including “sciensationalism,” “fuels of engagement” and “communication with conviction” to help influencers and consumers debunk the junk and separate fact from fallacy.