As a parent, it’s natural to want the best for our children, especially when it comes to nutrition and hydration. However, while the nutrition category is pretty well-covered both in the online medium and in magazines, few people know some important aspects about hydration.
In short, it’s not enough to just give water and milk to your child. The type of water also plays a major role, especially when we’re talking about toddlers and teens. With that in mind, let’s analyze what each type of water does to their body.
If the quality of your tap water meets the guidelines imposed by the CDC and other similar authorities, then it’s safe to say that you can give it to your children without worries. However, in reality, not all tap water is beneficial, especially if you live in areas such as Flint, Michigan. In most cases, you’ll still require a water filter just to be safe.
But whatever you do, don’t get a water softener because it exchanges hard minerals found in tap water for sodium, and you don’t want that. Those hard minerals are great for drinking, even if they’re undesirable for much anything else. That’s why we’d rather recommend an electronic water descaler than a traditional softener.
Theoretically, bottled water is free of all nasty contaminants and comes from clean sources. However, as some researchers have suggested, that is not always the case. Furthermore, bottled water might contain small plastic particles that could have leeched into it during the bottling process or during storage. And you clearly don’t want that in your child’s body.
Sure, if you have nothing else available, a little bottled water won’t hurt. But don’t turn it into a habit. It’s not good for your child, nor for the environment as a whole.
Distilled Water or Purified Water
Many people can’t really grasp the concept of what exactly is purified water in layman’s terms. Isn’t filtered water the same as purified water? Yes and no.
You see, purification means removing absolutely everything from the water except for the hydrogen and oxygen particles that form it. Distillation is practically the closest you can get to water purification because it removes absolutely everything, both harmful and beneficial.
While contaminants get removed, so do hard minerals that your child needs for their growth. We recommend distillation only in emergency situations when you have no other option available.
Some people also refer to it as soda water or carbonated water, just to clear any confusion. Sparkling water is great if your toddler craves soda because it gives them the same fizzy feeling without any added sugars or other nasty chemicals. Plus that sparkling water is often mineralized, so you’re also getting some of the minerals found in hard water, which we already mentioned is great for drinking.
However, sparkling water is mostly found in plastic bottles, so it also has the downsides that come along with regular bottled water as well. All in all, we recommend it in moderate doses for your toddler until they reach teen hood. Afterward, they can indulge in sparkling water way more often.
While some people may consider well water to be “more natural” you can’t ignore the fact that it’s untreated and might contain many harmful contaminants. If this is your primary drinking source, we recommend you test it regularly for pollutants, nitrates, and increased or decreased pH levels. Note that for toddlers, a mild pH level is the best.
The Wrap Up
All in all, given everything that we’ve learned so far, we would recommend going for tap water the most. As long as you’ve got a reliable filter and water descaler combo or a reverse osmosis system with a remineralization option, your toddler will benefit from it the most. While small amounts of other types of water won’t hurt, it’s still the best to try and avoid them as much as possible.