Published: Tue, May 23, 2017
Health Care | By Gwendolyn Kim

Why is fruit juice so bad your baby?

Why is fruit juice so bad your baby?

The new recommendations state that 100% fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be a healthy part of the diet of children older than one year when consumed as part of a well- balanced diet.

By age 7, children typically consume less juice, so there's less for parents to worry about.

"The policy clarifies that there is virtually no role for juice during the first year of life and that expensive juice products designed specifically for infants are not of value", the AAP wrote.

Dr Abrams also warns against juices marketed with added benefits of vitamins.

Steven Abrams, MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin, co-authored the policy statement, released today. Kids like the way it tastes - in fact, children and adolescents continue to be the highest consumers of fruit juice and juice drinks. Instead, children should be encouraged to eat whole fruit to meet their daily nutritional goals.

Babies do not need additional liquids (other than breast milk or formula) once they start solid foods, Abrams said.

"Fruit juice is marketed as a healthy, natural source of vitamins and, in some instances, calcium".

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Whole fruit is a much better way to get all the vitamins and nutrients of fruit, the guidelines say. But there should be limits even on those juices and their natural sugars.

Families should be educated that human milk and/or infant formula is sufficient to satisfy fluid requirements for infants, and low-fat/nonfat milk and water are sufficient for older children.

Dr. Alisa Muniz Crim, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, agreed. Juice is loaded with sugar and calories and doesn't have the fiber that whole fruit has.

Young children like to carry bottles and sippy cups full of sugary juice around all day, sipping on them and gumming on the tops, but that that can lead to cavities. "In addition, they are conveniently packaged or can be placed in a bottle or transportable covered cup and carried around during the day".

The excessive exposure of teeth to carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay, as well. Rising rates of obesity and concerns about how juice damages children's developing teeth were cited as the reason for the change. "But it is one simple step that makes sense".

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.

If you're craving something fruity and refreshing, try eating a piece of fruit instead.

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