Getting kids on the bottle – water bottle, that is

Just as it is important that we as adults drink our water from refillable, reusable water bottles, it is equally important that our children do as well. The habits and values we instill in them when they are young are the habits and values they are likely to carry with them throughout their lives and eventually pass on to their children.

If you are already drinking from a reusable water bottle yourself, you are on the right track towards teaching your children good habits by leading by example. Educating your kids about why you’ve chosen the reusable route is important too. I think children as young as 3 or 4 are already receptive to having simple conversations about why living green is a good choice for their family and the earth. Getting the kids involved and excited about using a reusable water bottle can be as easy as letting them help pick one out and giving them the “job” of remembering it (and reminding all other family members to bring theirs) whenever you go somewhere.

Just as there is a wide variety of water bottles on the market for adults, there are just as many water bottles and sippy cups marketed to children. What appeals to one child, may not appeal to the next (or to the parent), so it can be a wise and money-saving decision to research your bottles and cups before you buy.

An important thing to remember when looking for a water bottle for your child is that you want it to be BPA-free. Go Green Design writes about Bisphenol A in The Problem with Plastic.

During the first few years of life, when babies’ cells continue to undergo “programming,” exposure to certain toxic chemicals can disrupt the delicate process. Bisphenol A, a compound in hard, clear polycarbonate plastics that mimics the effects of estrogen, has raised particular concern because it interferes with hormone levels and cell signaling systems. Several dozen scientists issued a review of 700 studies on BPA warning that the levels most people are exposed to put them at elevated risk of uterine fibroids, endometriosis, breast cancer, decreased sperm counts, and prostate cancer. Infants, the report said, are most vulnerable to BPA.

While the above is specifically with regard to baby bottles, it certainly applies to toddlers and children as well.

Now onto a few different water bottle types.

Thermos makes both a straw bottle and sippy cup. Victoria from Vdog and Little Man commented to me that the “sippy has a lot of parts for the spout – membranes, etc., but it is LOVED by every kid I know.” And the straw cup “leaks horribly when turned on it’s side or upside down, so parental monitoring with that one is required (once ended up at home with a soaked tush and carseat!).”

Psychmamma also wrote about her experiences with the Thermos Foogo and the 16 oz. BPA-free Camelbak bottle.

Victoria also commented that she personally likes “the playtex straw cups because they have few parts, and the straw is covered when closed, and they are made out of polypropylene #5 (not #7 the ‘bad’ plastic).” However, she notes that the water can take on a plastic-y taste when left in the bottle overnight and says she changes the water very frequently in the #5 cups “to be on the safe side.”

A Little Greener Everyday wrote a review of the CynerGreen CGKidz 350ml Bottles.

Other popular children’s water bottles include the SIGG and KleanKanteen.

Beyond using your refillable water bottle at home and on outings, don’t forget about school lunches. For school-aged children, you can incorporate having a reusable water bottle with having an entire reusable lunch system. There are a lot of fun lunch kits available. Non-toxic Kids writes about the Kids Konserve waste-free lunch kits that includes a stainless steel water bottle. Really Natural writes about the BPA-free Laptop Lunch System that includes a BPA-free water bottle. There are many other waste-free lunch systems on the market as well.

Do your kids use reusable water bottles and/or sippy cups? What are their favorites?

Related links:

Cross-posted on BlogHer

15 thoughts on “Getting kids on the bottle – water bottle, that is”

  1. Another one I like is the #5 plastic ones from The First Years. They have the valve built right into the top, so no gross milk chinks to be found days later.

    I find that the boy has to suck from them pretty hard, so not for those with eustachian tube problems and younger babies that don’t know the sippy very well yet.

    He hasn’t figured out the Sigg bottle yet and the Klean Kanteen is just a PITA.

    So I’ve got a couple of the Foogo’s and otherwise just change the water frequently.


    Thanks for the linky love!

  2. This old baby uses a Sigg Type water bottle that was my employers effort to prove that Boeing is a green company.
    But mor often than not I lug around my 16 oz. Coffee mug that serves as a water bottle also. It is a wide bottom, stainless steel mug from Starbucks, discontinued. I see themon ebay every once in a while for upwards of $40 (with missing lids!)

  3. Yes! I think this is so important. And I think that’s a great idea to talk with your child about why we should use reusable water bottles – most kids can understand the concept of trash building up and making a big mess on our planet 🙂

    As a preschool teacher, I saw so many children come in with either sugary juice boxes or little disposable water bottles. We always provided water in cups as well, but the few kids who had their own reusable water bottle really enjoyed using them. They could go grab their own water bottle from their cubby whenever they were thirsty instead of needing to ask a teacher for water, and I think it was actually quite empowering to them to be able to help themselves.

    Just one more note on picking out a reusable bottle: make sure your child can open it by herself! Some of them have lids that are actually quite difficult to open.

  4. Luckily I am SO addicted to Cokes that all my children are HUGE water drinkers. (Simply because I don’t like sharing my Cokes…haha) So now I’m the one trying to drink more water like the kids. (groan) 🙁

    We have several plastic water bottles that have the built-in straw, but I prefer the ones that look more like bottled water.

    If it weren’t so plain tasting….(bleck!)


  5. Hiya Crunchy! Excellent post! Here in our house, we like the SIGG brand. I have the large “Friends don’t let friends drink from plastic” themed one and my 3 year old takes her water to preschool in a SIGG child size Paddington bottle. Her bottle has a nice sports top so it’s easy to use. We always receive loads of compliments.

    Cheers, Kimberly

  6. My little guy LOVES his Camelback (BPA free, of course) water bottle. He is 18 months and knows just what to do with it-he steals mine too! He also likes his Sigg and his Thermos and his Nalgene (BPA free as well), but the Camelback is his fav.

  7. I send Becca water/juice in her sigg to preschool aquatics class and hope to continue to do so when she goes to school. Way less packaging and cheaper than juice boxes!

  8. we like the Nalgene Grip-n-Gulp …BPA free and really light, no denting, etc.

    they also like the camelbaks. no question – my kids love their water bottles!

  9. We love the Earthlust brand stainless steel ones…my kids always have one by their sides! Getting ready to carry the ecousable bottles soon, that have great kids designs, and are stainless steel instead of aluminum, on I think my kids are going to love ’em!

  10. We just got home from a trip to Florida (from frigid Minnesota!). We took our stainless steel water bottles every where we went–many hiking trails, in the car, on the plane (the flight attendants were very happy to fill for us), and to the theme parks. Not only did we save money, but we were well hydrated.

    We just happened upon these bottles at REI on clearance. They were a great price and size. We have quite a collection of bottles, but I want to weed out those that may contain BPA.

    Thanks Crunchy for inspiring us to look closer at our water bottles!

  11. I read the other post you made about water. Are you saying you drink tap water? I personally wouldnt give my kids tap water, or encourage anybody else. I agree with staying away from BPA bottles. But I dont agree with filling them up with tap water. I purchased a berkley water filter. It wasnt a cheap purchase but it filters out the tap water, and we aren’t purchasing plastic water bottles containg BPA. Tap water contains a lot of nasty things. Chlorine, rust from pipes,lime,peoples bodily fluids, birth control has even been found in tap water when tested. In most parts of the world, the same water supply that is used for drinking (tap water) is also used for bathing, flushing toilets,washing machines, and dishwashers. Not to mention how much fluoride you or your children consume with every bottle. fluoride is made to go directly on the teeth and gums not to be digested, that is why it is clearly printed on a tube of tooth paste, and how you are not suppose to brush your childrens teeth with tooth paste until they know how to spit. I dont understand why they make infant water containing fluoride. And soon it will be added to formula and milk. Then our children will be getting sick from TOO much fluoride digestion.

    I just wanted to pass some information on to, hopefully you will question your tap water next time you decide to drink it or give it to your children.

    Invest in a filter and hold up a glass of filtered water to tap water and see the difference.

    Here is some links to hopefully help you:

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

    MUST SEE!!!!-

    Here is just some of the links I have! its mostly about fluoride but you get the idea. I have more information if needed. But I thought I would let you do your share of studying and research too.

    Good luck!

  12. Hello! Great post. I definitely agree that we need to start kids off young with eco-friendly habits. It’s important for them to learn healthy lifestyle behaviors early on. Reusable water bottles are a great idea for kids, and brands like Klean Kanteen and Camelbak make ones that are ideal sizes for little kids. Can’t say no to that!

    Thanks for posting, keep up the great green work!

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