AAP: No fruit juice before 1 year old

For children over 1 year old pediatricians strongly recommend whole fruit instead of juice because it contains fiber which slows the absorption of sugar and fills you up the way juice doesn't

The Academy's new policy "Fruit Juice in Infants, Children and Adolescents: Current Recommendations" advises that fruit juice should not be provided to children younger than one year of age.

Children under the age of 1 should not be given fruit juice unless a doctor says it's OK, according to the new guidelines.

"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", says statement co-author Dr. Melvin B. Heyman, an AAP fellow. But, the AAP says, 100 percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice - as part of an otherwise healthy diet - is fine for children over the age of 1. Any beverage that is less than 100% fruit juice must list the percentage of the product that is fruit juice and include a descriptive term, such as "drink", "beverage", or "cocktail", noted the authors.

Another piece of advice from the AAP: Don't give toddlers "sippy cups", which are generally cups with a cover and a spout or opening. "Fruit juice, however, can lead to cavities and weight gain or loss". For those 7-18 years, limit juice intake to 8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2-2½ cups of fruit servings/day.

Scientists laid out instructions for older children, too.

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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. The policy also strongly discourages consumption of unpasteurized juice.

Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and be educated about the benefits of the fruit as compared with juice, which lacks dietary fibre and may contribute to excessive weight gain, they said.

The recommendations also call for limiting juice consumption to four ounces per day by toddlers who are 1 to 3 years old and to six ounces per day for children aged 4 to 6 years old. Children and teens continue to be the top consumers of juice and juice drinks in the country, the group says. Rising rates of obesity and concerns about how juice damages children's developing teeth were cited as the reason for the change.

"We don't need to be giving them juice to replenish fluids", she said. One study published in 2015 cited fruit juice as one of the "biggest culprits" for dental erosion, and other research has linked fruit juice intake to childhood obesity. "In general, the time that I tend to recommend juice is if kids have constipation, and apple juice and prune juice can sometimes help with that", she said.

Children who take specific forms of medication should not be given grapefruit juice, which can interfere with the medication's effectiveness.

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