A staple in kids lunches and mom diaper bags everywhere just got a smack down from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The pediatricians group advised that parents and caregivers should not give any fruit juice to kids 1 and younger and older kids should drink it only sparingly. This is a big change from the group’s last recommendation, which advised that babies older than 6 months could have some juice.
The new recommendation links drinking fruit juice with tooth decay, weight gain, and in some cases, weight loss. Doctors also warned against letting toddlers drink from sippy cups or carrying around a juice box all day, which promotes cavities and dissuades kids from drinking water.
Other key points in the latest update published Monday:
- Infant formula or breast milk should be the only nutrient given to babies until they reach at least 6 months.
- After 6 months, parents can introduce mashed or pureed whole fruit, but still no juice.
- Children ages 1 to 4 need one cup of fruit daily. Up to 4 ounces can come from 100 percent fruit juice.
- Toddlers should not be given juice at bedtime.
- Stick with 100 percent juice and avoid juice beverages that say “cocktail,” “beverage” or “drink” because of suspected high-sugar content.
- Children ages 4 to 6 should drink no more than 6 ounces of juice a day.
- Youth ages 7 to 18 should be limited to 8 ounces a day, which is half of the recommended daily fruit servings.
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