(WXYZ) – It’s been 16 years since the last time the American Academy of Pediatrics revised their juice guidelines for children. They previously approved juice to babies after the age of 6 months. But now they want parents to wait until their child turns a year old. They also recommend kids older than a year drink limited amounts.
For infants, fruit juice provides no nutritional benefits. For kids over the age of 1, real whole fruit provides a ton of nutritional benefits when compared to fruit juice. Choosing juice instead of fruit means kids are missing out on dietary fiber which fills them up and slows down sugar absorption. Drinking too much juice can lead to weight gain, obesity, poor nutrition and tooth decay. Children can also suffer with diarrhea, flatulence and stomach bloating.
Juice can be part of healthy diet but in limited amounts. The American Academy of Pediatrics broke juice consumption into age groups. Between the ages of 1 and 3, toddlers can have no more than four ounces a day. Children 4 to 6 years of age can have between four and six ounces per day. And kids between 7 and 18, can have up to eight ounces of juice a day.
- For babies under the age of 1, avoid juice unless directed by your family doctor. Breastfeeding or formula is best because of the protein, fat, calcium and iron they contain.
- For children older than 1, choose 100% fruit juice labeled “unsweetened” or “no added sugars”. Skip sweetened juice or juice cocktails due to the added sugars.
- Do not drink “unpasteurized” juice. It can lead to serious illness if kids are exposed to harmful bacteria.
- Get your kids eating real fruit. They’re great sources for many essential nutrients, and are naturally low in fat and calories. Parents can start offering fruit after the age of 6 months, be sure to puree or mash it for the little ones.
It’s best to skip juice in sippy cups, bottles or boxes and instead give juice in a cup. Otherwise it makes it easier for kids to drink all day long which is really bad for their teeth, and can lead to serious tooth decay.
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