There are a lot of reasons why we love drinking fruit juices. They are filled with vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, among many other vitamins and minerals. Plus, some fruit juices now have fiber too! Remember the pulpy ones?
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recently released a new policy regarding fruit juice intake and kids. What do they say about your kids’ favorite drinks?
Less juice and more fruit!
Apparently, according to latest studies, they have reason to believe that children’s juice intake might be getting in the way for them to eat more fruit, because in the end, actual fruit still wins over its liquid form by a long shot. In fact, we, as pediatricians believe that babies younger than six months should not be drinking any fruit juice at all. The only thing you should give your baby is breast milk, and the only substitute for that is infant formula.
Toddlers should not be given fruit juices…
Even at the age of three and above, kids should still be closely monitored with their juice intake. Fruit juices may also cause energy imbalance just like soda, and if the juice is not pasteurized, you are risking your children to harmful pathogens like E. Coli and Salmonella. If you really must give your kids juice, then we suggest that you limit it at only four ounces a day for toddlers (aged one to three), and six ounces a day for older kids (aged four to six).
…But what about older kids and teens?
As children grow older, they would also be exposed to more choices – which most of the time means less juice! But that is not always the case. Juice consumption, even for teens, must be limited to only eight ounces a day.
While more research is still required to link obesity to fruit juices, the smarter way would still be getting your required daily calorie intake to come from fruit. Nothing still beats the actual source if you need that dose of vitamins and minerals.
Finally, it is also important to note that fruit juices are not the same as fruit drinks, so parents should read labels wisely. If it’s not labeled as 100% juice, or anything that has the words “drink” or “beverage” on it, is NOT juice, and while they may be fortified with vitamins and minerals, they would also contain additional sugar and artificial substances (such as coloring and flavoring). Remember, what you can’t read or spell out loud is usually inorganic. Take it from your children urgent care provider.
And if you can’t picture yourself reading all those nutrition facts and labels off cartons in the grocery one by one, then go for those without nutrition facts and labels at all! After all, when was the last time you saw a food label on a fresh red apple?