Default Beverages

default beverage
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In the fall of 2017, the City Council voted to promote healthy meal options for families and contribute to building a healthier community.   They did this by adopting an ordinance requiring healthy beverages, such as milk and water, be the default beverage for children’s meals offered by restaurants.  Sugary drinks, including soda, energy and sports drinks, sweetened water and fruit drinks, provide the largest source of daily calories in the diets of American children ages 2 to 18.  Each extra serving of a sugar-sweetened beverage consumed a day increases a child’s chance of becoming obese by 60 percent.

The key provisions of the ordinance require that

  • A restaurant that sells a children’s meal that includes a beverage shall make the default beverage offered with the children’s meal one of the following:
    • Water, sparkling water, or flavored water, with no added natural or artificial sweeteners.
    • Milk or non-dairy milk alternatives, such as soy milk or almond milk.
  • A restaurant is not prohibited from selling, or a customer from purchasing, a substitute or alternative beverage instead of the default beverage offered with the children’s meal if requested by the purchaser of the children’s meal.

The complete ordinance, Cathedral City Municipal Code Section 5.92, can be accessed at Municipal Code Link.

For additional information, contact Leisa Lukes, Business Development Manager, at (760) 770-0386 or e-mail at

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