For the first time in 16 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has revised its stance on fruit juice and recommends that no children under the age of 1 drink it. In fact, it’s fine if parents their children to forgo fruit juice altogether at any age.
The new recommendation opposes the AAP’s previous stance that it was ok for children 6 months and older to drink fruit juice. According to Dr. Steven Abrams, one of the authors of the report, there is no health benefit to drinking fruit juice. Once old enough, parents should give their kids mashed or pureed whole fruit opposed to fruit juice.
While it’s ok for older children to have limited amounts of fruit juice, the AAP is worried that all too often fruit juice replaces the whole fruits that children should be eating. These whole fruits provide kids with fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. Fruit juice, on the other hand, is often not fruit juice at all, but rather fruit “drinks” and is almost entirely sugar.
It’s important to start healthy eating habits early on. This includes developing a taste for whole fruits and vegetables opposed to juices, according to Dr. Alisa Muniz Crim, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami.
For more information, please visit “No Fruit Juice Before Age 1, Pediatricians Say.”