Head Start's new beverage standards

August 13, 2013 

A new healthy age-specific beverage policy for Head Start centers, will be implemented Sept. 1, stressing milk and water.

Head Start centers in Madera, Fresno, Merced and Mariposa counties, have adopted the beverage standards he new beverage standards were developed with guidance from health and nutrition experts with CA4Health, a statewide program of the Public Health Institute funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Community Transformation Grant initiative.

The beverage standards adopted now require that all Head Start sites provide the following age-specific standards:

0-12 Months:

Breast milk (best option).

Baby formula with iron.

No juice is served at any time.

12-23 Months:

Unflavored whole cow's milk with no added sweeteners.

Water with no additives, including vitamins, minerals (e.g. electrolytes), stimulants (e.g., caffeine) and sweeteners.

No juice is served at any time.

2-5 years of age:

Unflavored non-fat or 1% cow's milk with no added sweeteners.

Water with no additives, including vitamins, minerals (e.g. electrolytes), stimulants (e.g., caffeine) and sweeteners.

100% juice limited to no more than two meals per month.

Sodas, sports drinks, chocolate and other flavored milks, and "juice drinks" that blend sugar with juice may not be served.

CA4Health focuses on, and funds, local efforts to improve the health and well-being of people living and working in rural California counties, including Madera and Merced.

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