The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has just released new recommendations advising parents to pull back on fruit juices for all kinds for children of all ages.
The AAP’s latest advice on fruit pics is broken down by age group:
Babies from birth to age 1
Breast milk or infant formula should be the ONLY nutrient fed to infants until approximately 6 months of age. “There is no nutritional indication to give fruit juice to infants younger than 6 months”, if a baby fills up on juice it could sideline other important nutrients they need for healthy growth, including protein, fat, calcium and iron that come in breast milk and formula. They also want that drinking too much juice early in life can even stunt a child’s growth.
After 6 months, parents can introduce fruit, but no in the form of juice. Instead, offer infants ready for solid food whole fruits that have been shed or pureed.
Toddlers ages 1 to 4
Children ages 1 to 4 need one cup of fruit a day and up to 4 ounces of that can come from 100 percent fruit juice. The new recommendations are much more tangible.
To note, if the juice label calls it a fruit “drink”, “beverage” or “cocktail”, that’s a sign it is not 100 percent juice.
And toss the sippy cups.
Instead, serve up to a 4-ounce portion of juice in a small glass or open-top cup at meal or snack time, the paediatricians’ group recommends. Young children like to carry bottles and sippy cups full of sugary juice around all day, sipping on them and gumming on the tips, but that can lead to cavities. “Juice should not be sipped thought the day or used a s means to calm an upset child,” the AAP guidelines state.
Diluting the juice with water doesn’t reduce the odds of developing tooth decay.
Children ages 4 to 6
For younger school-age kids fruit juice shouldn’t exceed 4 to 6 ounces a day.
“Fruit juice and fruit drinks are easily over-consumed by toddlers and young children because they taste good,” the authors write. But “like soda, it can contribute to energy imbalance.” Instead, they encourage parents to give you children whole fruit instead of juice. Look for fruits with lots of fiber, such as apples, pears, berries and oranges. Throw them in smoothies for breakfast or muffins for snacks or just naturally on their own.
Children ages 7 to 18
Older children and teens should get 2 to 2.5 cups of fruit servings per day and limit fruit juice to only one of those servings. But they can have 8 ounces (1 cup) of juice, a little more than a younger child.
Finally, while the guidelines are focused on the benefits of fruit, that doesn’t’ mean parents should skimp on vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are not the same. we still want to emphasize the vegetables over the fruit, but still, get those fruits in the diet as well.
Information taken from Mary Trophy Marcus, CBS News, May 22, 2017