Water Access and Consumption

Water is an ideal beverage choice for children and adults.  It hydrates the body, is very low-cost, and is calorie-free.  Limited access to water during school and after-school hours can pose a problems for children’s health, especially if there is easy access to high calorie, sugary drinks such as soda, fruit drinks, sport drinks, fruit-ades and juice. Below you will find:

Out of School Time

Out of School Nutrition and Physical Activity (OSNAP)                     

OSNAP LogoAn initiative designed to develop healthy habits related to healthy foods, drinks, and physical activity through sustainable policy and environmental strategies during out of school time programs.

OSNAP promotes the following water access and healthy beverage goals:
– Serve water every day.
– Do not serve sugary drinks.
– Do not allow sugary drinks to brought in during program time.

OSNAP Tools for change:

Tip Sheets:
Water, Water Everywhere!
Sugar Sweetened Beverages

Fast Maps for:
Improving Water Consumption
Eliminating Sugary Drinks from Snacks Served

Policy Writing Guide for eliminating sugary drinks from being served and providing access to water

Additional Resources for Healthy Snacks and Beverages

Food & Fun

foodfunveggies-kidslogoA curriculum designed to assist program staff in providing healthier environments to children during out-of-school time. Food & Fun Afterschool includes 11 teaching units that use both lessons and activities to encourage healthy behaviors through active play, literacy and math skills development, creative learning, and hands-on snack time activities.

Unit 3: Be Sugar Smart

Unit 10: Hydration

Curriculum Training Resources


Keep it Flowing

Keep it Flowing: A Practical Guide to School Drinking Water Keep It Flowing GuidePlanning, Maintenance & Repair, addresses the practical side of drinking water in schools by outlining the steps needed to provide adequate numbers of properly maintained drinking fountains and tap water dispensers in school buildings.

It is designed for the people who make our nation’s schools run day-in and day-out, including those within state and tribal agencies and organizations, districts, school boards and local education authorities and schools.

Grab a Cup, Fill it Up!

WaterPosterSplashThis school cafeteria-based intervention included the installation of disposable cups near water fountains, along with these simple posters encouraging students to drink water and directing them to a water source location.

Eat Well & Keep Moving

An interdisciplinary elementary school program designed to promote healthful eating and physical activities in school, home, and /wp-content/uploads/sites/84/2012/09/ewkm_104x118.jpgcommunity environments.

Sample Lesson Sugar Water: Think About Your Drink

Sample Newsletter Article: Be Sugar Smart

Planet Health

An interdisciplinary curriculum focused on improving the health and well-being of sixth through eighth grade students while building and reinforcing skills in language arts, math, science, social studies, and physical education.

Sample Lesson Passing the Sugar

Fact Sheet: Healthy Hydration

Parent Newsletter: Be Sugar Smart


Food & Fun & Family

Food Fun FamilyLearning healthy behaviors begins at home. As a parent or guardian, you have the greatest influence over the foods your child eats and the activities that they do when out of school. The goal of Food, Fun & Family is to help busy parents provide a healthier home environment for their children.

Food & Fun & Family provides resources for the following water access and healthy beverage goals:
Serve water at every meal and snack.
Do not allow sugar-sweetened beverages in your home.

Communities and Decision Makers

Scientific Publications

Cradock AL, Wilking C, Olliges S, Gortmaker SL. Getting Back on Tap: The Policy Context and Cost of Ensuring Access to Low-Cost Drinking Water in Massachusetts Schools. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Sep;43(3 Suppl 2):S95-101.

Giles CM, Kenney EL, Gortmaker SL, Lee RM, Thayer JC, Mont-Ferguson H, Cradock AL. Increasing Water Availability During Afterschool Snack: Evidence, Strategies, and Partnerships from a Group Randomized Trial. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Sep;43(3 Suppl 2):S136-42.

Gortmaker SL, Story M. Nutrition policy research that can lead to reduced childhood obesity in the u.s. Am J Prev Med. 2012 Sep;43(3 Suppl 2):S149-51.

Ludwig DS, Peterson KE, Gortmaker SL. Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis. The Lancet 2001;357:505-508.

Wang YC, Bleich SN, Gortmaker SL. Increasing caloric contribution from sugar-sweetened beverages and 100% fruit juices among US children and adolescents, 1988-2004. Pediatrics. 2008 Jun;121(6):e1604-14.

Wang YC, Ludwig DS, Sonneville K, Jiang H, Gortmaker SL. Impact of change in sweetened caloric beverages on energy intake among children and adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009 Apr;163(4):336-43.

Bleich SN, Wang YC, Wang Y, Gortmaker SL. Increasing Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages among U.S Adults: 1988-94 to 199-2004. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Jan;89(1):372-81.

Mozaffarian RS, Wiecha JL, Roth BA, Nelson TF, Lee RM, Gortmaker SL. Impact of an organizational intervention designed to improve snack and beverage quality in YMCA after-school programs. Am J Public Health. 2010 May;100(5):925-32.

Cradock AL, McHugh A, Mont-Ferguson H, Grant L, Barrett JL, Wang YC, Gortmaker SL. Effect of school district policy change on consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among high school students, Boston, massachusetts, 2004-2006. Prev Chronic Dis. 2011 Jul;8(4):A74.

Other Resources