Babies should avoid fruit juice, American Academy of Pediatrics says

For children over 1 year old pediatricians strongly recommend whole fruit instead of juice because it contains fiber which slows the absorption of sugar and fills you up the way juice doesn't

For children over 1 year old pediatricians strongly recommend whole fruit instead of juice because it contains fiber which slows the absorption of sugar and fills you up the way juice doesn't

"One-hundred-percent fruit juice is a nutrient dense beverage, and when incorporated as a complement to whole fruit in the diet for children older than one year, helps to improve fruit intake, especially among populations with limited access to fresh fruit", Freysinger says.

Kids love their juice, but new recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise parents to pull back on fruit juices of all kinds for children of all ages. The group had previously advised parents to wait to offer juice until a child reached 6 months old, but chose to make the change based on rising rates of obesity and concerns about tooth cavities.

There is one exception to this new policy, however.

Pediatricians would prefer parents give their children fresh fruit instead of fruit juice because it has more dietary fiber and less sugar than juice. The group says it's making the change since child obesity rates and dental issues are on the rise.

The guidelines for older children may surprise parents too. Children 4-6 years may have 4-6 ounces. It also restricts six-eighteen year olds to a maximum daily consumption to eight ounces - a decrease of four ounces from the previous guidelines.

"There's never been a question that whole fruits are the best choice for children - adults, too, for that matter", Abrams says.

Emphasising that whole fruit is "less of a pure sugar intake", the chairman of pediatrics at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, Dr Abrams said: "We want kids to learn how to eat fresh foods".

The AAP recommends water and cow's milk as primary fluid sources for children after weaning.

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It's the first update to the group's guidelines on fruit juice for kids in 16 years. Even still, juice should be limited to half of a child's daily fruit consumption - two 4- to 6-ounce servings is more than adequate.

Its new recommendation is a tougher stance than the one this influential organization took in 2001, when it set the no-juice threshold at 6 months of age.

The experts recommended that toddlers should not be given juice from bottles or easily transportable "sippy cups" that allow them to consume juice easily throughout the day.

In addition, the Academy strongly recommends that whole fruit be provided and encouraged for children participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.

Consumption of unpasteurized juice products should be strongly discouraged.

Children taking certain types of medications should not be given grapefruit juice, the study authors noted.

When evaluating children with malnutrition - as well as chronic diarrhea, excessive flatulence, abdominal pain and bloating - pediatricians should determine the amount of juice being consumed.

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