Background: Inadequate hydration can have several adverse effects on health. In children, it can negatively affect their health and cognitive performance. The effects of fruits and vegetables on the hydration of children have not been adequately studied. This study included 177 children in this age group and examined the contribution of fruits and vegetables (F&V) on total water intake (TWI).
Methods: Two-day dietary and fluid intake records as well as 24-h urine samples were collected from 177 children over different weekends. The dietary records were analyzed with Nutrition Data System for Research to obtain TWI from food (TWI-F) as well as TWI from fruits and vegetables (TWI-FV). The fluid intake data was used to determine TWI from liquids (TWI-L). The urine samples were analyzed for volume (UVol), urine osmolality (UOsm), urine specific gravity (USG), and urine color (UCol) to examine hydration. Age was categorized into 3, 4-8, and 9-13 y based on the Institute of Medicine (IOM).
Results: About 52% of the children did not meet water intake recommendations by IOM and 39.8% of the children were underhydrated based on elevated urine osmolality. The average TWI was found to be 1,911± 70 mL. TWI-F was observed to be 492±257 mL, while TWI-L was 1,419±702 mL. TWI-FV only contributed 200±144 mL. As expected TWI was significantly higher in the older children (9-13 y) than children in other age group (3 and 4-8 y). The average UVol was 709±445 mL, USG was 1.019±0.006, UOsm was 701±233 mOsm·kg-1, and UCol was a 3±1 (based on the urine color chart). Only urine volume seemed to be influenced by the age of the children as it was significantly higher for the children in the 9-13 y age group.
Conclusion: Nearly half of the children did not meet water recommendations by IOM and were underhydrated. Fruits and vegetables did not have a significant contribution to TWI. Dietary interventions to increase F&V consumption, lower consumption of SSB, as well as maintain proper hydration may benefit the health of children.