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New fruit juice guidelines include big change for babies 

2017-07-21

We all love juices, they’re natural, filled with nutrients, and refreshing. Fruit juices are a favorite among children, people into the fitness and healthy lifestyles. But due to recent recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, parents are advised to pull back with the juice. Now this is very important as it is the first update in 16 years related to fruit juice consumption by kids. And it says that parents should avoid giving fruit juice at all, during the baby’s first year. Previously it was believed that fruit juice was ok after 6 months. Following is the same advice, broken down by age group:

Birth to age 1:

For this age bracket, the only food given should be breast milk and in some cases infant formula, but not until the age of 6 months that is. Fruit juices should not be given during this time as the juice cannot provide the full range of nutrients necessary by the body. These nutrients are found in breast milk and infant formula however and they should be given during this age bracket. Solids fruits can be introduced afterwards, but still not juices.

Toddler ages 1 to 4:

Children ages 1 to 4 need one cup of fruit a day, and up to 4 ounces of that can come from 100 percent fruit juice, the recommendations say. Juice is allowed at this point, but as you see in small amounts and it is 100% pure. No fruit ‘drinks’, ‘beverages’ or ‘cocktails’; they are not pure juice and usually contain copious amounts of sugar. These can lead to cavities in the teeth, in addition to a host of problems. Children should only be given 4 ounces of 100% fruit juice.

Children ages 4 to 6:

Now you may increase the given amount to 4 to 6 ounces a day. But the general guidelines still apply as the previous age bracket, that it is beneficial if the fruit is given in solid form rather than in juice form. And if juice has to be given, then it is important that it be 100% pure fruit juice.

Ages 7 to 18:

Older children and teens should get 2 to 2 ½ cups of fruit servings per day and limit fruit juice to only one of those servings. But they can have 8 ounces (1 cup) of juice, a little more than a younger child. For juice it is recommended to process them from fresh fruits or frozen fruits if the former is not readily available. Sugary and processed juices are still not very good for consumption, even at this age as well. Fresh juices are the way to go, and you get pure nutrients and none of the harmful additions. Adding small quantities of fruit in salads and glasses of water (like a berry or a cherry) will increase fruit consumption little by little and will promote more fruit intake in children.

Here were the new updated guidelines on fruit juice consumption among Children.

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