Here's how much fruit juice children should drink, according to new guidelines

Francis Osborne
May 23, 2017

But a new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics says children under the age of 1 should not drink fruit juice because of concerns about tooth decay and childhood obesity.

In the past years, the AAP advised that kids younger than 6 months should not consume any fruit juice and suggested the same for older babies and children.

"Parents may perceive fruit juice as healthy, but it is not a good substitute for fresh fruit and just packs in more sugar and calories", said co-author of the statement Melvin Heyman, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics (FAAP).

Serve juice in a cup, not a bottle. After six months, moms and dads can then introduce fruit to their diet, but not fruit juice.

Do not give toddlers juice at bedtime.

And what about kids who won't eat fruit? In addition, fruit juice is not appropriate in the treatment of dehydration or management of diarrhea. The Academy's position statement, released Monday, boils it down succinctly: "Fruit juice offers no nutritional advantage over whole fruit".

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"[Hundred percent] fruit juice has some nutrition, but the variety and quality is not the same", Ms. Montgomery said, adding that chewing fruit is a more satisfying experience and whole fruit is more filling. (If the label calls it a fruit "drink", "beverage" or "cocktail", that's a sign it is not 100 percent juice.) Many beverages look like fruit juice and say they have vitamins, but they can also be packed with sugar and other ingredients that do not have nutritional value.

Children and teens are the top consumers of juice and juice drinks in the USA, according to the academy. Abrams said the point is not to "get dogmatic about it", and kids can have some juice as part of a healthy diet. The group says it's making the change since child obesity rates and dental issues are on the rise.

For children ages 1-3, the AAP recommends a maximum daily intake of 4 ounces.

"In the past, we've always said generally 6 to 8 ounces per day and we weren't really focusing on the age group". "I do think there has been a lot of education in press about juice needing to be consumed in moderation", Shu 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. "On the other hand, water and low fat milk are much better choices for most children".

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

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