The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recently changed its recommendations regarding how much fruit juice children should drink. They now state that children under the age of 1 year should NOT drink fruit juice.
The updated recommendations also state that:
- Toddlers ages 1-3 should not get more than 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice each day.
- Toddlers should not be given juice from bottles or sippy cups. This allows them to easily consume juice throughout the day and can lead to cavities. Also, toddlers should not be given juice at bedtime.
- Breast milk or infant formula is enough for infants to drink, and low-fat/nonfat milk and water are appropriate drinks for older children.
The new policy encourages eating more whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juice. Drinking too much fruit juice can contribute to cavities. And fruit juice does not have the fiber that is generally found in fresh fruit.
“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,” said Melvin B. Heyman, MD, FAAP, co-author of the statement. “Small amounts in moderation are fine for older kids, but are absolutely unnecessary for children under 1.”