AAP: No Fruit Juice for Infants

Pediatricians Advise No Fruit Juice Until Kids Are 1

No fruit juices for children under the age of one, according to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Pediatricians have strictly spoken out against this practice and have sent out an alert to parents saying that breast milk or infant formula is sufficient for infants and children should not be offered fruit juice, because it lacks dietary fiber and may contribute to excessive weight gain, at all in the first year.

Sixteen years later, the AAP have extended this time frame, based on a wealth of evidence that suggests that fruit juice may do more harm than good in the first 12 months of life. Previously in 2001, the AAP advised parents to wait until a child reached at least six months old to give them juice, but has since made a decision to bump up the age due to growing health concerns in younger kids.

They say it should be 100-percent fresh or reconstituted juice and it should be given in a cup, not a bottle or a box.

The new report also restricts fruit juice for children of all ages.

While some fruit juices are naturally high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium, they are also high in sugar and low in other important nutrients, such as fiber.

Intake of juice should be limited to, at most, four ounces (113.3 gram) daily for toddlers age 1-3, according to the recommendations.

"It is optimal to completely avoid the use of juice in infants before 1 year of age", the statement says. Kids aged up to 18 need no more than eight ounces a day.


The guidelines for older children may surprise parents too.

"There's never been a question that whole fruits are the best choice for children - adults, too, for that matter", Abrams says.

Don't give toddlers juice in bottles or sippy cups or at bedtime. Instead, offer infants ready for solid foods whole fruits that have been mashed or pureed.

The new policy further states that older babies can consume fruit juice but in limited quantities and not drink it as a substitute for milk or even plain water which are healthier.

Consumption of unpasteurized juice products should be strongly discouraged.

Families of small children with dental caries should have a discussion with their pediatrician about the child's fruit juice intake and its possible contribution to the caries.

Children who take specific forms of medication should not be given grapefruit juice, which can interfere with the medication's effectiveness. Additionally, excessive juice consumption may be associated with malnutrition (over-nutrition and under-nutrition), as well as diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal distention, and tooth decay.

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