A common question for a pediatrician is, “how much fruit juice can my child have?” We are now seeing that question might actually have a different answer than previously advised by doctors.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics:
An AAP policy statement published in 2001 and reaffirmed in 2006 recommended no juice for children younger than 6 months of age, 4-6 ounces daily for children ages 1-6 years and 8-12 ounces for children 7 and older. Since then, however, considerable concern has been expressed about increasing obesity rates and risks for dental caries.
The most recent advice states that fruit juice really shouldn’t be given to kids under the age of 1-year-old. There are exceptions, if the juice has medical relevance, for treating things like constipation, etc.
- Children ages 1-3 should not consume more than 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice a day.
- Children ages 4-6 should not have more than 6 ounces of 100% fruit juice a day.
- Children 7 and up should be limited to under 8 ounces per day.
The policy, from the AAP Section on Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the Committee on Nutrition, is available at https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2017-0967 and will be published in the June issue of Pediatrics.
Real Fruit Is Better!
This shouldn’t be hard to comprehend. Naturally, eating fresh fruit is going to have more benefits than drinking it from a bottle, right? When you drink all your juices, you may actually be missing out on some of the fiber and other micronutrients that are found in the actual fruit.
Even with eating fresh fruit, you need to talk to your pediatrician about how much is okay in a day. There is still a lot of sugar in fruit, so you need to make sure it is kept to a healthy limit, This is also important for your child’s teeth.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics.