Pediatricians toughen advice against fruit juice for infants

Posted May 23, 2017

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.

Fruit juice, long recommended as a source of vitamin C for children, has no nutritional value for kids under 1 year old and isn't as good as fresh fruit for other kids, according to a leading pediatrician group.

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 see a bottle stating that the contents are "100 percent fruit juice", you might assume that the beverage is a healthful alternative to whole fruits, but this is not the case. "You want to be careful about saying "Drink juice for vitamins" because they can be added to anything".

Doctors and dentists are hoping to avoid giving kids a sugary drink that sip on in bottles and sippy cups all day.

Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and educated on the benefit of fiber intake. The new recommendation was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. In cases of diarrhea, a pediatrician can advise parents on the best way to rehydrate an infant or child, Ms. Montgomery pointed out. However, fresh fruit is deemed healthier for older kids since it has less sugar and more fiber than juice form.

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The guidelines also strongly discourage unpasteurized juice products, which can carry pathogens such as E. coli.

The older children get, the more ubiquitous juice becomes.

Instead, they encourage parents to give young children whole fruit instead of juice.

Too much juice can lead to a failure to thrive or obesity in children, said King, who works with families of kids who suffer from both conditions. 'Not good for the teeth " Children and teens continue to be the top consumers of juice and juice drinks in the US, the policy statement notes. Daily intake should be limited to 4 ounces in toddlers ages 1-3 years, 4-6 ounces for those 4-6 years.

"We don't need to be giving them juice to replenish fluids", she said. But 60 percent of kids were still not getting their recommended servings of fruit, which is 1 to 2 cups, depending on age, gender and level of activity. "In general, the time that I tend to recommend juice is if kids have constipation, and apple juice and prune juice can sometimes help with that", she said.

Children taking certain types of medications should not be given grapefruit juice, the study authors noted.