Pediatricians Impose New Limitations On Fruit Juice Consumption

Glen Mclaughlin
May 23, 2017

The American Academy of Pediatrics updated their guidelines about juice and babies for the first time in 16 years Monday morning.

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.

The academy is also recommending sharply limiting juice consumption by toddlers and older children in its new guidelines, as ABC News Chief Women's Health Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton explained today on "Good Morning America".

They say juice is full of calories and sugar and is not a good substitute for fresh fruit.

When you do serve juice, stick with 100 percent fruit juices. Even so, they should not drink more than 8 ounces of juice per day - and amount that represents half of the daily calories that should come from fruit. Cavities in teeth are also associated with drinking juice, so the academy recommends that toddlers should not be offered juice in a bottle or put to bed with a bottle in their mouths.

Consumption of unpasteurized juice products should be strongly discouraged for children of all ages.

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Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and educated on the benefit of fiber intake. In addition, fruit juice is not appropriate in the treatment of dehydration or management of diarrhea. They state that small quantities of such beverages are still alright for older aged children. Plus, the AAP says, once babies start eating solid foods, they should have whole fruit that is mashed or pureed, rather than juice.

The pediatricians further said that mother's milk or infant formula is sufficient for infants, and low-fat/nonfat milk and water are sufficient for older children. It also restricts six-eighteen year olds to a maximum daily consumption to eight ounces - a decrease of four ounces from the previous guidelines. Rising rates of obesity and concerns about how juice damages children's developing teeth were cited as the reason for the change. Abrams said the point is not to "get dogmatic about it", and kids can have some juice as part of a healthy diet.

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

Older children and teens should get 2 to 2 ½ cups of fruit servings per day and limit fruit juice to only one of those servings.

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

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

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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