But a new recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics says children under the age of 1 should not drink fruit juice because of concerns about tooth decay and childhood obesity.
Previously, the Academy advised against giving fruit juice to children under the age of 6 months, but have now raised the bar to include the entire first year of a child's life. But, the AAP says, 100 percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice - as part of an otherwise healthy diet - is fine for children over the age of 1. Now, they have extended the earlier recommendation up to a year which means that babies should not be given fruit juice any time during their first year of birth. When juice is served to older toddlers, it is important that it not be sipped throughout the day or used to calm an upset child.
But drinking fruit juice all day can cause cavities and put children at risk for excessive weight gain.
Families of small children with dental caries should have a discussion with their pediatrician about the child's fruit juice intake and its possible contribution to the caries.
Parents can make it easier for older children to eat fruit by keeping bags of frozen fruit on hand to toss into smoothies or yogurt bowls, and keeping easy-to-eat fruits such as clementines in bowls on the kitchen counter, said Prout. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans classify one serving of 100% fruit juice as equivalent to one serving of whole fruit.
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What is more, the AAP "strongly discourage" the consumption of unpasteurized juice products for children of all ages, and grapefruit juice should be avoided for children taking any medications that are metabolized by the enzyme CYP3A4, due to its potentially harmful interactions. At 7 years old, children should get no more than eight ounces daily, receiving most of their recommended two to two and a half cups of daily intake from eating whole fruits. Occasionally beneficialShu, who agrees with limiting juice in children's diets, said it's sometimes beneficial. CBS reports that according to the study - breast milk and infant formula should be the only nutrient fed to infants until six months old.
"We don't need to be giving them juice to replenish fluids", she said.
The AAP recommends water and cow's milk as primary fluid sources for children after weaning.
"Fruit juice and fruit drinks are easily overconsumed by toddlers and young children because they taste good", the statement says.