Doctors Have New Fruit Juice Recommendations For Children

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It looks like parents may have to change what they put into their kids' sippy cups. According to CNN, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its guidelines.
In a new study published Monday in Pediatrics, doctors found that children under the age of 1 should not be given fruit juice unless it's specifically advised by a doctor.
"We couldn't really see any reason why juice was still part of the potential recommendation for 6- to 12-month-old kids," Dr. Steven A. Abrams, chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas and co-author of the policy statement, told CNN. "We recommend breastfeeding or formula in that age group, and there really isn't any need or beneficial role for juice, so we kind of made that adjustment."
The old guidelines stated that children could consume fruit juices after the age of 6 months, but the AAP found an alarming rise in the rate of childhood obesity. The change was also put in place to prevent the development of cavities. This is the first time that the AAP has updated the juice recommendations since 2001.
"The problem is, parents will stick a bottle or sippy cup in the kid's mouth and kind of leave it there all day. That's not good from the calorie-intake perspective and it's sure not good for the teeth," Abrams explained. "What happens is, the kid then gets used to all the sugar and then they won't drink water."
Even with the news, the AAP doesn't recommend that much juice in general. Children ages 1 to 3 should only consume 4 ounces daily. And it should come in a standard cup, so that kids aren't drinking all day from a juice box or sippy cup. "For children between 4 and 6, fruit juice should be restricted to 4 to 6 ounces daily," CNN adds. "Children between 7 and 18 years old should have no more than 8 ounces (or 1 cup) of juice a day, making up one of the recommended daily 2 to 2 1/2 cups of fruit."
The academy adds that it's important to emphasize nutrition early on, because habits, good or bad, could remain through adulthood. Sharon Zarabi, nutritionist at NYC's Lenox Hill Hospital, told CNN, "With my experience of working with obese adults, we tend to see that what people eat when they're younger is what sticks with them as they get older."
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