Doctors Warn Moms Not To Give Their Babies Juice Anymore
LifeAspire Staff 6/1/2017
It's exciting when older babies take their first slurp of baby food off of a spoon and clutch a sippy cup. But it's what's in that sippy cup that has prompted pediatricians to issue a warning.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has advised parents to withhold providing fruit juice to infants one year and younger. This is the first time in 16 years that the AAP has updated its guidelines regarding fruit juice.
Infants one year and younger must never consume fruit juice. The previous guideline indicated that fruit juice was perfectly fine after six months of age.
Breast milk, infant formula, and water should be the only liquids babies consume until six months of age. That's to help ensure that infants are receiving important nutrients from healthy sources, like the protein, calcium, fat and iron that's found in breast milk and formula.
After the age of six months, parents can introduce cereal and mashed or pureed solid foods, but still not juice, the AAP said. Toddlers ages one to four need one cup of fruit each day, but only up to four ounces of that total should come from 100 percent fruit juice, said Kristi King, a clinical dietician at Texas Children's Hospital.
"Four ounces of juice is a half a cup. It's a very small amount, like a Dixie cup. In the past, we've always said generally six to eight ounces per day and we weren't really focusing on the age group. The new recommendations are much more tangible."
The AAP advises parents to pay close attention to the source of fruit juice, too. If a label refers to juice as a drink, beverage or cocktail, it's not 100 percent juice. When they aren't 100 percent juice, they often are packed with too much sugar and other unnecessary ingredients. The AAP also states that juices should be pasteurized as a safety precaution.
Also, no more sippy cups. Parents are told to serve up to four ounces of 100 percent juice in a small glass or open-top cup with a meal or snack time instead. Carrying around a sippy cup of juice means wee ones have access to a sugary drink all day long, which can lead to an increase in cavities. Diluting juice won't help, either.
Kids ages four to six shouldn't have more than four to six ounces of juice a day and it also should be 100 percent natural. To fill out the rest of the daily fruit requirements, kids should choose a piece of fresh fruit as a snack or with a meal. Drinking too much juice doesn't help children meet their nutritional needs either, Kristi King said.
"Failure to thrive kids often drink a lot of juice and may be consuming so much that they're not willing to fill up on food, so they're not getting enough calories. Children who are obese may be drinking lots of 100 percent fruit juice and other sweetened beverages and are getting extra calories and not burning them off."
Finally, youth ages seven to 18 should have only one serving of 100 percent all natural fruit juice, no more than one cup per day. This age group should consume two to 2.5 cups of fruit servings per day, which should primarily be of fresh fruit.
The AAP also notes that children of all ages should avoid consuming fruit chews, strips and gummy fruit snacks, because they aren't actual fruit. Kristi King said while not fresh, canned fruit in its own juice is better than the gummy, sugary treats. If you know of a mom or daycare provider who would benefit from this information, please be sure to pass it along.
Source CBS News FB Image Credit: YouTube/Sakinah Anne Masonwells