Pediatricians Advise No Fruit Juice Until Kids Are 1

Ellen Mills
May 23, 2017

This is the bold new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), marking the group's first recommendation change on fruit juice since 2001.

Originally, it was advised that parents wait until the age of six months to give their children fruit juice but now parents are now encouraged to limit fruit juice consumption to 4 ounces a day for children ages one to three.

For children ages 4 to 6, fruit juice intake shouldn't exceed four to six ounces a day.

Hundred per cent fruit juices are often taken as "healthy" and "nutritional" alternates to the fruit itself, however Dr Steven Abrams, a lead author of the AAP report, revealed that "whole fruit typically has more fiber than fruit juice and is less likely to cause dental decay".

These new guidelines don't apply to fruit drinks, which contain less than 100 percent juice and have added sweeteners.

Toddlers should not be given juice from bottles or easily transportable covered cups that make it easy to consume throughout the day, nor should they be given juice at bedtime.

The APP recommends parents to encourage their kids, no matter their ages, to eat fresh fruit. They state that small quantities of such beverages are still alright for older aged children. This recommendation is based on the fact that whole fruit is considered to be superior than fruit juice that is just a source of sugar. It also recommends limited consumption for older children and adolescents.

"It is optimal to completely avoid the use of juice in infants before 1 year of age", the statement says. Occasionally beneficialShu, who agrees with limiting juice in children's diets, said it's sometimes beneficial.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2003 and 2010, only 40% of kids were getting their recommended daily servings of fruits per day, which is one to two cups, depending on age, gender and level of activity. Daily intake should be limited to 4 ounces in toddlers ages 1-3 years, 4-6 ounces for those 4-6 years.

Samantha Montgomery, a dietitian at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, said a healthy diet for older children can include some juice, but whole fruit is superior.

If caregivers substitute juice for milk or formula, babies risk missing out on all the protein, essential fats and nutrients like calcium, iron and zinc that their growing bodies require.

Grapefruit juice should be avoided in those taking certain medications (see policy).

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