Developing healthy beverage habits early in childhood is key—but too many young children routinely consume sugary drinks, and a sizable minority consume no water at all. Luckily, the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is currently under development and will provide advocates and researchers the opportunity to comment for the very first time on standards for children aged 0-24 months.
Just in time, a newly released policy brief, Infant and Toddler Beverage Recommendations for the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, from the Nutrition Policy Institute, dives deep into what young children are drinking today, as well as what they should be drinking and how that information should influence the next edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Researchers agree: sugar-sweetened beverages have no place in young children’s diets and the new Dietary Guidelines provide a critical opportunity for America to get its beverage guidance for young children right. We can make water first for thirst by emphasizing water in the Dietary Guidelines, and by including strong, actionable recommendations to support drinking water access and education, similar to those included in the 2015 DGAC report.
Because USDA’s MyPlate graphic is the ubiquitous nutrition teaching-tool for students of all ages, drinking water advocates urge USDA to take the necessary steps to add a symbol for drinking water to all public-facing educational materials, like MyPlate.
Interested researchers and advocates can register to attend or view a webcast of the next Dietary Guidelines for Americans Advisory Committee meeting here. You can also stay updated and see opportunities to get involved with the Dietary Guidelines development process—and our campaign to get a symbol for water on MyPlate—on our Take Action page here.