In a new policy statement published by the American Academy of Pediatrics in May 2017, they recommend no fruit juice for children under 1 year.
The new statement says:
“Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit to children under age 1 and should not be included in their diet”
The new advisory comes from the recently published statement Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations.
This is an update to past recommendations which already advised that children under six months should not drink juice.
Related: Worst drinks for your teeth
Historically, fruit juice was recommended by pediatricians as a source of vitamin C and as an additional source of fluids for healthy infants and young children. It was also sometimes recommended for children with constipation.
Fruit juice is usually marketed as a healthy, natural source of vitamins. Because it tastes good, children will usually accept it easily, as opposed to many other foods at this age. Although juice consumption has some benefits, it also has
Although juice has some benefits, it also has potentially negative effects as well. It is usually full of both sugar and calories and can lead to unnecessary weight gain.
“We know that excessive fruit juice can lead to excessive weight gain and tooth decay,” said co-author of the statement Steven A. Abrams, M.D., in a news release.
He goes on to say “Be cautious about putting a bottle or sippy cup in the child’s mouth with fruit juice because that can cause really cause problems for their teeth,” Abrams said.
“Some parents will use the bottle as a pacifier and just stick some apple juice in the bottle.” That leads to sugar from the apple juice just sitting in the child’s teeth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay.”
“One hundred 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. Fruit drinks, however, are not nutritionally equivalent to fruit juice.”
Juice for children recommendations
- Children under one year of age should not have any juice.
- Children ages 1-3 should not have more than 4 ounces of juice daily.
- Children ages 4-6 should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces daily.
- Children ages 7-18 should be limited to 8 ounces daily.
- Toddlers should not be given juice in “sippy cups”. This allows them to drink juice all day long, causing excessive exposure of the teeth to sugar and tooth decay.
- Toddlers should not be given juice at bedtime.
- Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits. These contain both vitamins and dietary fiber.
- Consumption of unpasteurized juice products should be strongly discouraged for children of all ages.
- Children who take specific forms of medication should not be given grapefruit juice, which can interfere with the medication’s effectiveness.
- Fruit juice is not appropriate in the treatment of dehydration or management of diarrhea.
We hope that you will take these recommendations into consideration for your own children. We want to help parents establish good dental health habits for children so they get a good foundation for health as adults.
David Wilhite is a Plano Dentist specializing in children’s pediatric dentistry with over 30 years experience in general and cosmetic dentistry. He can help you with children’s dental care, thumb sucking and pacifier use, dental fears in children and baby dental care.
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Contact us online or call us today at (972) 964-3774
Juice image credit: Pixabay
AAP says juice a no-no for babies – ADA
Don’t Give Your Baby Fruit Juice, But A Little For Older Kids Is Okay, Say Pediatricians – Forbes
American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends No Fruit Juice For Children Under 1 Year – AAP