Monday 19 October 2015

BRITA Back to School Hydration Challenge

Recently BRITA (the water filter people) approached me and asked if I knew how much water my children were drinking when they are at school during the day. Of course the answer was no and if I'm honest I knew what the answer probably was - not enough!

I was therefore very happy when they sent me some of their superb Fill&Go water bottles (with nifty integral water filtration) for the kids to take to school each day.  As well as the bottle they also sent me some great ruler stickers to attach to the side of the bottle and these give visual reminders to the kids of how much to drink and by when. This ruler is based on official guidelines and recommends they drink 300ml by morning break, 600ml by lunch, then there is a lunch time reminder to refill the bottle and to have drunk another 300ml by afternoon break and the last 300ml by home time. Thus meaning they would have consumed 1200 mls between the hours of 8.45am and 3.15pm.

JJ reminded me that as he is now at secondary school there is no afternoon break, so we just agreed he needed to drink the refilled bottle (600ml) by home time.

I think every parent realises the benefits of staying hydrated, I personally know how sluggish and tired I start to feel if I have not drunk enough water. So heavens know how hard it must be to concentrate in class if you are not adequately hydrated.

The Fill&Go has an RRP of £14.99 and it comes with four filter discs included, they recommend that you change the disc each week to maintain optimum filtration and taste and this means the kit starts you off for one month.  Further filter discs currently cost £8.00 for 8 discs when you purchase from John Lewis and that means it is about £4 a month to keep using the bottle and enjoying your Fill&Go.

For me this is definitely worth it as since we moved to our house just over 2 years ago we have been buying bottled water as we all hate the taste of the water in our house and I kid you not the Fill&Go has made a difference and we are all now drinking tap water. Thank the Lord! Or in this case I should perhaps say thanks BRITA! We've also been using the bottles for more than a week now and I've not changed the filters as yet, so course how often you change the filter is down to you and I'm pleased I can hang it out a little longer.

The bottles with their filters were very easy to start using. The instructions that came with the bottles are comprehensive and I had to wash the bottle in mild detergent, soak the filter discs for about a minute to help its water absorption and then insert it in the neck of the bottle. It is held in by the integral straw and one gentle tug of the straw removed this part and then pushing the straw gently pushes the filter disc out.

At the end of the day when the kids come home, I just have to remember to remove the filter (which is very easy) and then pop the bottle in the dishwasher for a clean.

One thing I must remember to tell you is that if you use the Fill&Go with the straw left in it, you have to hold the bottle upright and drink and this takes a little getting used to and is counter-intuitive but you soon get the hang of it and of course the straw can be removed and your child can tip the bottle right up to drink if that is what they prefer.

So how have the kids done on their first week?
You know how it is with something new, it has the novelty factor and the first couple of days both girls came home having drunk the full 1200ml each, then the next couple of days it was a little more slack for Miss E as she has 'been busy and forgotten' (her words) and not even drunk half the suggested amount. Miss M had drunk about 900ml, rather than the full 1200mls but I'm still convinced this is far more than previous to having this bottle with its visual ruler reminder. Then the last two days of the week were also good and it was a full 1200ml having been drunk by both girls.

JJ (my 12 year old) was more hit and miss and out of the 5 days there was only one where he had drunk the full 1200ml of water, one day was about 500ml, another 700ml, one really terrible with only about 200ml having been drunk and the last a lot more respectable at about 1000ml (these amounts are educated guesstimates as the ruler only marks the 300 and 600ml marks on the bottle side). Again though he commented on how much more aware he was to keep drinking as each time he saw the bottle it 'glared at him to drink water' (his words).

Whilst the kids did not drink the suggested 1200 ml every singe day, I am happy that using their Fill&Go bottles with the ruler sticker is making them more aware to drink water and they are definitely consuming more than before we started this.  So it is a big thumbs up from me and I just want to say thanks Brita!

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