This week I've been working on a new game plan for my family in eating and drinking. I discussed the first week how we should be drinking lots of water. Well, I realized that hubby and my kids are not drinking as much water as they should be. So, in my quest to keep everyone eating right, and drinking the water that they should, I did some research on daily calorie needs, and daily water needs for my children. What I found out from my family doctor was that a 9-13 year old needs about 1800 calories a day (this can rise depending on activity level). A child between 4-8 around 1200 calories, and the littlest ones 1-3 need only 1000 calories a day. This gives me a good starting point for them of how to help my young ones who tend to want to eat things just because they taste good even though they are not hungry...learn to balance their eating. So, ideally we should be eating only healthy foods that would be lower in calories anyhow. But for the times we don't...we can look at serving sizes, and keep our eating reigned in to how many calories we actually need. For my older ones, they can earn more calories with more activities! This is kind of how my doctor does things with his kids.
Now, for water, I just looked on the internet. I discovered that the general rule of thumb is 1 quart of water per 50 pounds. Again, this is baseline, and more might be required for greater activity level. So, for my family that translates into between 3-4 quarts a day for hubby and I ( a tad more for him), which I fill up my 4 quart container and try to finish it every day. For my 11 year old, 2 quarts a day. For my 9 year old, 1 1/2 quarts a day. My 8 year old, 1 quart a day. My 5 year old, also about 1 quart (he's small for his age...she's big for her age!). My 3 year old needs about 1/2 quart a day and I don't worry much about the baby, she drinks 32 ounces a day with her bottles! Again, more is requred for more activity, especially on hot days, but this should be the minimum amount every day for each of them. So, my plan for them is to go out and get them each a container that will hold the right amount of water for them, and they can each make sure that they are getting the right amount every day when that container is empty!
So, that is my new health knowledge for the week, I hope it was helpful to someone out there. I will also give a plug for www.sparkpeople.com. If you are thinking about trying to lose weight, or just stay healthy and fit, I just joined this yesterday, and so far, I am pretty impressed with it. There are different groups you can join for encouragement, and it helps you set goals, and keep track of stuff. Pretty neat.