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  • Fruit Juice Is Not Recommended for Children Below 1 Year Old

    Too much juice as a child might cause your tot to prefer overly sweet products later on.
    by Kate Borbon .
Fruit Juice Is Not Recommended for Children Below 1 Year Old
PHOTO BY iStock
  • As delicious as ready-to-drink fruit juice might be for little kids, experts from different health organizations in the United States recommend that parents reduce their children’s consumption of this beverage or ideally none at all.

    The New York Times reports that, according to the recommendations, young children are only supposed to drink a maximum amount of less than a cup of 100% fruit juice every day. The recommendations are the following:

    • Infants less than 12 months old should not consume juice.
    • Children ages 1-3 should consume no more than ½ cup (4 ounces) of 100% juice per day.
    • Children ages 4-5 should consume no more than ¾ cup (6 ounces) of 100% juice per day.

    Note that a typical-sized juice box or tetra pack sold in the Philippines contains 250 mL or 8.45 ounces.

    The new set of recommendations come from the nutrition advocacy group Healthy Eating Research, which is composed of a panel of experts from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and the American Heart Association.

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    The panel of experts says that children are much better off consuming whole fruit (fresh, canned, or frozen) to meet their daily fruit needs. Excessive consumption of fruit juice can cause weight gain and dental decay and is also associated with poor nutrition.

    The recommendations also include guidelines on plant-based milk, which experts say are not to be given to most children in this age group. (Read more about the recommendations on plant-based milk here.)

    “When we talk about empty calories that are consumed through beverages, and the number of calories people get from sugar-sweetened drinks, we’re not just talking about soda,” Dr. Richard Besser, president and chief executive of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funds Healthy Eating Research, tells The New York Times. “Juice is another source of calories that nutritionally aren’t terrific.”

    Of course, not everyone might have access to fresh fruits, as Marie-Pierre St-Onge, professor of nutritional medicine at Columbia University and one of the experts who developed the recommendations, tells U.S. News & World Report.

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    “We really stress that consuming fresh fruits is much, much preferred over consuming fruit juice, but we understand that sometimes parents are in a tight spot and maybe fresh fruit is not available in certain seasons.”

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    If fruit juice is the choice, go for 100% fruit juices instead of fruit drinks or juice cocktails, which tend to have added sugars aside from the natural sugars found in fruits, reports Time.

    Parents are encouraged to restrict their kids’ consumption of juice because children tend to develop food and beverage preferences at an early age. If they get used to consuming products with too much sugar, they are at risk of being overweight or obese, which then increase the risk of developing chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.

    “The hope is that through this approach, you’ll help your child develop a taste for what’s good for them,” says Dr. Besser. He continues that though the occasional glass of 100% juice is okay, “what you want your children as they grow older to be drinking primarily is water.”

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    Fruits are some of the healthiest snacks you can give your child! Click here to learn about fruits that are low in sugar and will give your child the energy boost she needs.

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