Unit 10 Information for Leaders

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Behavior Goal

Children will drink water at every snack and when they are thirsty.

Key Messages for Kids

  • Water is the best thirst quencher.
  • Drink water when you are thirsty.
  • Drink water instead of juice or soda at every snack and meal.

Key Information for Program Staff

Water is the best drink for children in afterschool programs. It is calorie free, hydrates children, and is low-cost from your nearest tap! Serve water at every snack, and make sure it is available throughout the afterschool period. Encourage children to drink water whenever they are thirsty.

Do not serve sugar-sweetened beverages (like soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, and fruit-ades) during afterschool; these drinks provide a lot of sugar and calories that children's bodies don't need. Children do not need sport and energy drinks because most sports drinks are designed for endurance athletes who exercise for hours at high intensity. They contain lots of sugar and calories.

It is important to communicate about the importance of drinking water instead of sugary drinks to parents because kids are most likely to drink soda and juice drinks at home. Many parents don't realize the large amount of sugar their children get from drinks. Most tap water in the United States is safe to drink, but if you or the parents from your program are concerned about the safety of your local water supply check out The Environmental Protection Agency's annual water quality reports: http://www.epa.gov/safewater/ccr/whereyoulive.html.

  • Refer to the "Water, Water Everywhere!" Tip Sheet PDF for ideas on how to serve water at your afterschool program!
  • The browser version of this tip sheet is located here
  • The fast map for this unit is available here
  • The browser version of this fast map is available here