No Fruit Juice Before Age 1, Pediatricians Say

23 May, 2017, 01:17 | Author: Joy Garcia
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The American Academy of Pediatrics is now suggesting babies younger than one year old should not drink fruit juice.

AAP said the change comes after new research shows "considerable" concern about increasing obesity rates and risk for dental caries in children.

The new guidelines state that fresh juice can be part of a healthy diet for children older than 1. When kids carry around sippy cups with juice - or worse, take it to bed with them in a bottle - their teeth are continuously exposed to carbohydrates.

Juice should not be introduced to infants before 1 year unless clinically indicated.

However, APP offers fresh fruit as the best alternative to juice consumption.

For children ages one to four - stick to four ounces of *100-percent juice. For example, the committee promoted advocating for a reduction in fruit juice in the diets of young children, as well as a complete elimination in children with abnormal (poor or excessive) weight gain. The Academy's position statement, released Monday, boils it down succinctly: "Fruit juice offers no nutritional advantage over whole fruit". These drinking apparatuses fuel excessive tooth exposure to the juice, which can lead to tooth decay. Fruit generally contains additional fiber compared to juices.

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The guidelines also strongly discourage unpasteurized juice products, which can carry pathogens such as E. coli.

Parents can make it easier for older children to eat fruit by keeping bags of frozen fruit on hand to toss into smoothies or yogurt bowls, and keeping easy-to-eat fruits such as clementines in bowls on the kitchen counter, said Prout.

Plus, many beverages are not fruit juice at all - but fruit "drinks" that are basically water and sugar. Juice drinks are composed of up to 99% fruit juice and they are not equivalent in nutritional value to 100% fruit juice. Even still, juice should be limited to half of a child's daily fruit consumption - two 4- to 6-ounce servings is more than adequate.

Another way to include fruit in the diet of a child who turns up his or her nose at fresh produce: mash up apples or use unsweetened applesauce as a replacement for sugar or oil in baked goods.

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.

Some studies have found an association between heavy juice consumption - in excess of 12 ounces per day - and obesity.

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