Whether in sippy cups, bottles, or boxes, few drinks are more ubiquitous for kids than fruit juice ... but we’re here to tell you that it’s officially the end of a sugary era.
Just recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics updated its policy on juice for children, recommending only a small amount of juice for toddlers and kids. For babies under a year old, the recommendation is even more strict – absolutely zero (zilch! nada!) juice during the first 12 months of life. After that, the guidelines are up to a half a cup a day (4 ounces) for toddlers ages 1 to 3; up to 6 ounces for kids 4 to 6; and up to a full cup (8 ounces) allowed for children 7 and up.
“Parents may perceive fruit juice as healthy, but it is not a good substitute for fresh fruit and just packs in more sugar and calories,” according to Melvin B. Heyman, MD, FAAP, co-author of the AAP’s statement. “Small amounts in moderation are fine for older kids, but are absolutely unnecessary for children under 1.”
And even in kids older than 1, the group says putting juice in sippy cups or bottles they can carry around all day is a new no-no, citing excessive exposure of the teeth to carbohydrates can lead to tooth decay. Of course, fresh fruit – full of good fiber and less sugar than juice – is encouraged. Lucky for us, fresh fruit season is here so stock up on all those gorgeous peaches and plums at the farm stand in the name of good health for your kids ... and sneak a few for yourself while you’re at it.
Learn more about the AAP’s new recommendations here.