We all try to do what is best for our babies but sometimes figuring out what is best can be overwhelming or downright difficult. The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of more than 66,000 pediatrictians whose recommendations form the basis of preventive healthcare for children. When the AAP updates their recommendations, we want to make sure our clients know.
If you’re considering fruit juice for your baby you’ll want to know about the new recommendations from the AAP.
An older AAP policy statement published in 2001 recommended no juice for children younger than 6 months of age, 4-6 ounces daily for children ages 1-6 years and 8-12 ounces for children 7 and older. Since the publication, however, there has been growing concern over increasing obesity rates and risks for dental caries.
The new guidelines state that fruit juice should not be given to children younger than 1 year if there is no clinical need for juice.
For children 1-3 years old should consume no more than 4 ounces and for children ages 4-6 years the recommendation is 4-6 ounces, and a max of 8 ounces for children who are 7 years old and older.
- Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and educated on the benefit of fiber intake noting that there is minimal nutritional value in even 100% fruit juices.
- Furthermore, giving juice to a baby could lead to baby feeling full which could essentially sideline important nutrients found in breastmilk and formula such as fats, protein, and iron.
- If you are giving juice, avoid bottles and sippy cups where the toddler has access to it all day long. Try offering it as a special treat, and diluting it with water.
- Avoid expensive juice products marketed specifically for infants as they are of no nutritional value.
- Juice is not appropriate even in cases of managing dehydration or diarrhea.
Formula and/or breastmilk continues to be the only recommended source of nutrients until 6 months of age when solids can be introduced.