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Pediatricians: Not Enough Fruit in Fruit Juice

Pediatricians say parents need to replace fruit juices with juices made from real fruits. (silviarita/Pixabay)
Pediatricians say parents need to replace fruit juices with juices made from real fruits. (silviarita/Pixabay)
May 30, 2017

BOISE, Idaho – It turns out fruit juices are skimping on the fruit, and that's bad news for children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released new guidelines regarding fruit juice, suggesting that infants under the age of one stay away from fruit juice completely.

The guidelines are based on a report published in The Journal of Pediatrics, which says the drinks' high calorie count makes children susceptible to obesity and sugar in the drinks is bad for their teeth.

"It's a very common problem for pediatricians,” says Dr. Steve Abrams, the report’s co-author. “They see a lot of overweight kids and sometimes they'll discover that the kids do have a lot of fruit juice in their diet. Pediatricians have generally been vey supportive of this new policy."

The report recommends toddlers should have no more than 4 to 6 ounces of fruit juice a day. For children 7 and older, the recommendation is 8 ounces.

Abrams says fruits always are preferable to fruit juices, which usually are packed with additives such as artificial sweeteners.

Whole fruits provide children with servings of fiber missing from fruit juices.

Abrams suggests starting children off on the right foot so they don't face health risks from fruit juices down the road.

"The best thing is not to get them terribly used to large amounts,” he urges. “Keep it as a treat for the older kid after a year of age.

“But if they are already now drinking a lot of fruit juice, then I'd recommend buying them and getting them to eat more fresh fruit, and gradually decreasing the amount of juice is a good idea."

The report says any juice that is not 100 percent fruit juice must list its ingredients, as is mandated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - ID