Nutrition Policy Institute
Nutrition Policy Institute
Nutrition Policy Institute
University of California
Nutrition Policy Institute

Organizational Comment on CACFP

Water Availabe


How to comment as an official representative or spokesperson for an organization


State clearly that you write on behalf of your organization

Briefly describe your organization, its size, and its interest in the matter

Then state your request

“[I am/We are] writing to ask you to strengthen and clarify the Child and Adult Care Food Program rule for drinking water by incorporating the following language:

“Plain water should be available and encouraged for self-serve at all times throughout the day, both inside the site and in outdoor play areas, including with meals and snacks, regardless of whether milk or 100% juice is also served.”


Explain why you want to see this change in CACFP standards:

[I/We] want to see clearer language about drinking water in the CACFP standard because [choose one or more of the following reasons or add your own]

  • Young children consume inadequate amounts of plain water and excessive sugary drinks (Drewnowski, 2013).
  • Modeling water as the first for thirst beverage is critical for the early establishment of healthy beverage behavior, for obesity prevention (Wang, 2009; Sonneville, 2014; Muckelbauer, 2014), and for optimal cognitive function (Edmonds, 2009; Masento, 2014).
  • There is no evidence that normal water consumption with meals will displace other foods (Ritchie, 2012).
  • It is unrealistic and unreasonable to expect young children to request a drink of water when they are thirsty and for busy childcare providers to comply with individual requests; young children may not recognize thirst or have the wherewithal to make the request.
  • It is expected that this recommendation can be implemented with no or very little cost; if tap water is consumed in lieu of sugary drinks and 100% juice, cost savings may be achieved (Giles, 2012).
  • Strengthened policies have been shown to result in improved beverages in childcare settings (Ritchie, 2014).

[If you prefer, insert your own reason here.]


Other types of remarks you can make:

  • I care about drinking water because ___
  • It is important to make it easy for children to drink water.
  • “Water:  First for Thirst”  


Upload a Photo

Use the attachment button to attach current research, photos of drinking water access in your childcare site, or any other evidence for the USDA to consider.


Tips for Comments from Organizations

If you have many supporters, it is more effective to send one well-written comment with an attached list of signatures from your membership or other interested parties, rather than many copies of the same comment. Or, write a short comment and then attach a longer document or graphic. Encourage your members to submit their own individual comments if they wish.


Click here for the USDA online comment submission form for CACFP standards.


 “Water: First for Thirst.”

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