The amount of water that your child or teen needs each day is a question I get frequently. Keep in mind that the recommendations in the chart below are for total water, which includes water from all sources: drinking water, other beverages and food. Remember that fruits and vegetables have a higher water content than other foods. This high water content helps keep the calorie level of fruits and vegetables low while their nutrient level remains high. A great reason for kids and adults to eat more from these food groups.
So how do you apply total water recommendations to your kid’s day? As a rule of thumb, your child or teen should drink at least six to eight cups of water a day and eat the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Also, pay special attention to your child’s or teen’s water consumption when they are physically active. The goal is to drink a half cup to two cups of water every 15 to 20 minutes while exercising.
Kids Total Daily Beverage and Drinking Water Requirements
Age Range Gender Total Water (Cups/Day)
4 to 8 years Girls and Boys 5
9 to 13 years Girls 7
14 to 18 years Girls 8
Data are from Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) Tables. Recommended Daily Allowance and Adequate Intake Values: Total Water and Macronutrient