Goals of promoting water in child care include enabling children at an early age to become accustomed to drinking water as the beverage of choice for quenching thirst, and helping to develop the life-long healthy habit of consuming non-caloric water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. To address water availability in this setting, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandates that all child-care facilities participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provide free drinking water throughout the day, including at meal times. Additionally, a new California statute, AB 2084, effective January 2012, established a similar requirement for all licensed child-care facilities as a part of a new set of beverages standards. This research project sought to: 1) determine how to reconcile the new federal and California laws requiring water availability in child-care settings with concerns of some practitioners that water might displace valuable milk and food consumption, and 2) to develop recommendations on best practices for promoting water intake to children in child-care settings to alleviate those concerns. The research team completed a scientific literature review including published studies as well as unpublished sources such as research websites and scientific conference abstracts and proceedings. They then convened approximately thirty experts and stakeholders to review the research findings, comment on the best practices and recommendations, and suggest revisions. The focus of the discussion was on young children ages 1 to 5 years. Input from this convening informed the development of recommended best practices for provision of water to preschool-age children in the child-care setting.
Clarifying and Disseminating the Value of Promoting Water Consumption in Child-Care Settings
Providing Water With Meals is Not a Concern for Young Children: Summary of the Literature & Best Practice Recommendations
Promoting water intake has been proposed in order to displace the intake of sugar-sweetened beverages, and new federal and California laws now require water availability in child-care settings. However, some child-care staff have voiced concerns that if young children are provided water with meals, they will fill up on the … More
The USDA Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides critical nutrition assistance to lower-income women, infants, and young children. During the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment has risen to levels greater than experienced during the Great Recession, and food insecurity has also increased, making WIC’s role more important … More
Stories of Success: A Qualitative Examination of Contributors to Excellence in School Drinking Water Access
Drinking water instead of beverages with added sugar can help prevent obesity and cavities and promote overall health. Children spend much of their day in school, where they have variable access to drinking water. In 2010, federal and state law required California public schools to provide free potable water to … More