Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
Medical | By Ismael Lynch

Pediatricians Advise No Fruit Juice Until Kids Are 1

Pediatricians Advise No Fruit Juice Until Kids Are 1

If your baby is under 12 months old you shouldn't feed them any fruit juice, according to a new, tougher recommendation from top pediatricians.

The pediatrics academy has in recent years advised against giving fruit juice to children younger than 6 months old, but the new guidelines expand that to children younger than 1.

Children under the age of 1 should not be given fruit juice unless a doctor says it's OK, according to the new guidelines. They also say it should be 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.

And what about kids who won't eat fruit? After that, parents can introduce mashed or pureed fruit, but not juice.

"The AAP report was welcomed by the chief of the division of general pediatrics at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, Dr Elsie M Taveras who thinks it is 'a fantastic recommendation for infants, and it's long overdue". 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.

"The policy clarifies that there is virtually no role for juice during the first year of life and that expensive juice products designed specifically for infants are not of value", the AAP wrote. Because juice tastes good, children readily accept it.

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Due to appear in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics, the latest guidance notes that pediatricians have historically advised juice to deliver vitamin C, deal with constipation and to help children move from a exclusively milk-based diet to one with gradually increasing amounts of solid food. Additionally, children and teens ages 7-18 should only drink one cup per day (8oz).

The new policy also recommends only four ounces of juice a day for toddlers and six ounces for pre-schoolers.

"Parents feel their infants need fruit juices, but that's a misconception", Taveras said, also fearing that juice can be a gateway drink and predispose children to more soda and sugar-laden beverages.

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

Consumption, however, should be limited depending on a child's age.

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

Children who take specific forms of medication should not be given grapefruit juice, which can interfere with the medication's effectiveness.

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