No fruit juice for kids under 1, pediatricians advise

No fruit juice for kids under 1, pediatricians advise

The Academy's new policy "Fruit Juice in Infants, Children and Adolescents: Current Recommendations" advises that fruit juice should not be provided to children younger than one year of age. One of the biggest changes is the recommendation that parents avoid giving fruit juice at all during a baby's first year of life. Previously in 2001, the AAP advised parents to wait until a child reached at least six months old to give them juice, but has since made a decision to bump up the age due to growing health concerns in younger kids.

If you do give you child juice, it should be 100-percent fresh or reconstituted juice and served in a cup, not a bottle or a box.

Additionally, the guidelines state that toddlers should not be given fruit juice in bottles or "sippy cups" that allow them to drink freely throughout the day. They can have up to two and a half cups of fruit servings, but only eight ounces of it should be juice. Therefore, it is better to give them pureed fruits after about 6 months of birth instead of fruit juice.

And what about kids who won't eat fruit?

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"Fruit juice is marketed as a healthy, natural source of vitamins and, in some instances, calcium". "Even though it's natural sweetness, (juice) doesn't have the same benefits as real fruit, because the fruit has fiber to be more filling, whereas juice is just easy to drink and overdo", said Shu, who did not contribute to the new recommendations.

The guidelines for older children may surprise parents too.

What is more, the AAP "strongly discourage" the consumption of unpasteurized juice products for children of all ages, and grapefruit juice should be avoided for children taking any medications that are metabolized by the enzyme CYP3A4, due to its potentially harmful interactions.

"We want to reinforce that the most recent evidence supports that fruit juice should be a limited part of the diet of children", says Steven Abrams, a professor of pediatrics at Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, and an author of the guidelines, which were published Monday in Pediatrics.

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Human milk or infant formula is sufficient for infants, and low-fat/nonfat milk and water are sufficient for older children.

Fruit also beats juice when it comes to fighting tooth decay. Additionally, children and teens ages 7-18 should only drink one cup per day (8oz). Occasionally beneficialShu, who agrees with limiting juice in children's diets, said it's sometimes beneficial.

"In both of those groups they do consume a lot more than the recommended amount of juice".

The bottom line, Abrams said, is that "water and milk are preferable". 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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