Pediatrics Group Recommends No Fruit Juice for Children Under One
Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit to children who are under the age of one and should not be included in their diets, according to a new policy statement issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics that makes the academy’s first change in recommendations on fruit juice since 2001.
The statement, “Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations” published in the June issue of Pediatrics, accounts for the rising rates of obesity and concern about dental health based on evidence accumulated over recent years.
“We know that excessive fruit juice can lead to excessive weight gain and soothe decay,” said Steven A. Adams, MD, coauthor of the statement.
In the past years, the academy advised against offering fruit juice to children who are under the age of 6 months but recently expanded that time frame to include the entire first year of life.
“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 coauthor Melvin B. Herman, MD. “Small amounts in moderation are fine for older kids but absolutely unnecessary for children under one.”
The new recommendations state that 100 percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be a healthy part of the diet of children who are older than one year when the fruit is consumed as part of a well balanced diet. Consumption, however, should be limited depending on a child’s age.
Learn more about the current recommendations in Pediatrics (2017); 139(6) e20170967