American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends No Fruit Juice for Children Under 1 Year
On May 22, 2017, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new juice recommendations saying that the fruit juice holds no nutritional value for children under the age of 1 and accounts for the rising rates of obesity and concerns about dental health, based on evidence accumulated over recent years. The statement, “Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations,” to be published in the June issue of Pediatrics, states that 100-percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be a healthy part of the diet of children older than 1 year when consumed as part of a well-balanced diet. The amount of juice each day, however, should be limited depending on a child’s age.
- Intake of juice should be limited to, at most, 4 ounces daily for toddlers age 1-3. For children age 4-6, fruit juice should be restricted to 4 to 6 ounces daily; and for children ages 7-18, juice intake should be limited to 8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2 to 2 ½ cups of fruit servings per day.
- Toddlers should not be given juice from bottles or easily transportable “sippy cups” that allow them to consume juice easily throughout the day. The excessive exposure of the teeth to carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay, as well. Toddlers should not be given juice at bedtime.
- Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and be educated about the benefits of the fruit as compared with juice, which lacks dietary fiber and may contribute to excessive weight gain.
In addition to limiting sugary beverages, it is important for children to drink water with fluoride and caregivers should help young children practice brushing to make it a good experience. In order to be healthy, kids need to have healthy teeth!