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Girl drinking water not juice

Juice for Kids? 9 Things to Know

Our kids love juice but does juice love our kids? The answer depends on the child’s age and the amount of juice, and can be summed up with an unenthusiastic “maybe.” The American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with recommendations for juice intake in infants, kids, and teens. Here are the highlights:

  1. No juice for babies under 1 year old. There are no health benefits to giving a baby juice – and several risks. Skip the juice.
  2. Whole fruits are a better choice. They have fiber and take longer to consume.
  3. Juice can cause diarrhea. We even call this “toddler’s diarrhea.” If your child has diarrhea, one of the first steps to helping them is to cut out juice in their diet.
  4. Too much juice can cause malnutrition in kids. It can fill them up and leave them too full to eat foods with other important nutrients.
  5. Drinking juice may cause a child to be overweight.
  6. Sugar in juice is linked to tooth decay. If you serve your young child juice, only give it in a cup at a meal – not a bottle or sippy cup to carry around.
  7. Unpasteurized juice is risky. It may contain pathogens that can cause serious illnesses and should be given to children cautiously, if at all.
  8. Moderation wins! One hundred percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice (not fruit “drinks” or “cocktails”) can be part of a well-balanced diet for children older than 1 year when consumed within these suggested limits:
    • None under 1 year
    • 1 to 3 years – no more than 4 ounces a day
    • 4 to 6 years – no more than 4 to 6 ounces a day
    • 7 to 18 years – limit juice to 8 ounces a day

What should they drink? Water and some low-fat milk is all they need. Seriously!

Resources for parents:

American Academy of Pediatrics:
Fruit Juice and Your Child’s Diet

This article was originally published on August 14, 2017.

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