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Just Say No to Juice

Just Say No To Juice

OK Moms and Dads, it’s finally time to kick juice out of the house!  The 2017 American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) policy Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations states that fruit juice should not be given to children under one.   It goes on to limit juice intake in older kids.  In my professional opinion serving juice is not very different from handing your children candy.  I always tell families that it (and all sugar drinks) should not be in the house.

The 2001 and 2006 policies stated that no juice should be given to children under 6 months.   The new policy excludes juice through one year of age.  The conclusion came from the section on Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the Committee on Nutrition.   The policy maintains that there is virtually no role for juice in this age group and that juice provides minimal nutritional value.

For all children, ongoing juice intake poses a risk for diabetes, obesity, cavities, malnutrition and the commonly experienced temperament changes.  So how much is OK?  Reference the table at the top of this article which outlines the new limits for all age groups.

Some considerations:

  • Whole fruit should be encouraged (for its fiber and vitamins)
  • Human milk and formula are sufficient under the age of one for liquid requirements (water is not recommended unless by your doctor)
  • Low-fat/Non-fat milk and water are sufficient for older children for liquid requirements
  • Obese children or those with excessive weight gain should not have juice
  • Unpasteurized juice should be avoided as it can cause infections in young children
  • Grapefruit juice needs to be avoided with certain medications (ask your doctor)
  • Juice can contribute to malnutrition, chronic diarrhea, excessive flatulence, abdominal pain and bloating
  • Juice should never be served in a bottle or a sippy cup
  • Do not buy brands that are not 100% juice (e.g. juice drinks, beverages or cocktails); they have added sugar

References:

Fruit Juice in Infants, Children, and Adolescents: Current Recommendations

AAP Press Room

HealthyChildren.org

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Dr. Aviva Alyeshmerni, known by her patients as Dr. Vivi, graduated with honors in Biological Sciences from Stanford University in 1998. Dr. Vivi graduated from New York University’s affiliated medical school program at Tel Aviv University, Israel. After returning to the University of California, Irvine, to complete her Pediatric Residency, she spent six months working and carrying out research at the Orthopedic Surgical Hospital of Los Angeles. Since 2009, while working in Orange County, Dr. Vivi has been applying her experience in Sports Medicine as she pursues her passion for Pediatrics.