No fruit juice for kids under 1, pediatricians advise

Pediatricians Advise No Fruit Juice Until Kids Are 1

One recommendation is that fruit juice be limited for toddlers and older children, and babies shouldn't have any at all before their first birthday. Over past years, the body had advised against offering fruit juice to children under the age of six months, but has expanded that time frame to include the entire first year of life. The group had previously advised parents to wait to offer juice until a child reached 6 months old, but decided to make the change based on rising rates of obesity and concerns about tooth cavities.

One of the most common questions parents ask pediatricians is how much fruit juice they should give their children, the group says on the AAP website, which details the changes.

When you do serve juice, stick with 100 percent fruit juices.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2003 and 2010 kids ate an increasing amount of whole fruit and drank less juice.

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For instance, where four ounces of apple juice has 60 calories, 13g of sugar and no fiber, a half cup of apple slices has half the calories [30], only 5.5g of sugar and 1.5g of fiber.

"If you're doing it for the vitamins, eat the fruit".

What's so bad about fruit juice? They state that small quantities of such beverages are still alright for older aged children. Although 100% juice, and fortified juice, contains high levels of some essential vitamins (vitamin A, C, D, calcium, potassium), juice lacks in protein and fiber.

Drinking unpasteurized juice drinks is discouraged for all ages.

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"In the past, we've always said generally 6 to 8 ounces per day and we weren't really focusing on the age group". Juice drinks are composed of up to 99% fruit juice and they are not equivalent in nutritional value to 100% fruit juice.

Instead of giving your children juice, experts suggest giving them fruit instead.

"We know that excessive fruit juice can lead to excessive weight gain and tooth decay", says statement co-author Dr. Steven A. Abrams, also a fellow of the AAP.

For children ages 1-3, the AAP recommends a maximum daily intake of 4 ounces. "I do think there has been a lot of education in press about juice needing to be consumed in moderation", Shu said. One study published in 2015 cited fruit juice as one of the "biggest culprits" for dental erosion, and other research has linked fruit juice intake to childhood obesity.

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"Water and low-fat milk are much better choices for most children", Abrams noted. It was just time for doctors to take another look at something they hadn't considered in a while, he said.


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