Milk or Water Must Be Default Kids' Meal Drink Under New Law

Sodas and sugary drinks will be available only by request.

California restaurants that sell kids' meals will have to offer milk or water as the default drink option beginning in 2019.

Kids' meals will have to be served with non-dairy alternative of less than 130 calories, water or flavored water with no added sweeteners. Sodas and sugary drinks will be available by request.

The law follows ordinances enacted in a number of cities and counties around the state in recent years.

"Our state is in the midst of a public health crisis where rates of preventable health conditions like obesity and Type-2 Diabetes are skyrocketing, due in large part to increased consumption of sugary beverages," State Senator Bill Monning, the law's author, said in a statement.

According to Monning, parents are more likely to choose a sugary drink for their children when it is the default option, even when a healthier choice is available.

Restaurants failing to follow the new law will face a minor penalty, additional violations over five- year period would result in fines starting at $250, but only a single fine would be assessed by inspection.

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