Pediatrics Group Says Kids Under 1 Shouldn’t Drink Fruit Juice

Kids toting sippy cups full of fruit juice is a common sight, but new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise parents to cut back on giving fruit juice to kids, and withhold it altogether for babies in their first year of life.

It’s the first time the AAP is updating its recommendations on fruit juice in 16 years, CBS News reports. Previously, the organization said fruit juice was fine after 6 months.

The new guidelines were published Monday in the journal “Pediatrics” and say babies under the age of six months should only consume breast milk or formula. Afterward, parents can offer their babies mashed or pureed whole fruits.

Related: New Guidelines to Help Prevent Peanut Allergies in Children

Not only is there “no nutritional indication to give fruit juice to infants younger than six months,” as the authors write, but drinking too much juice too early in life can stunt growth.

The AAP says children ages one to four need one cup of fruit a day. Up to four ounces (roughly the size of a Dixie cup) of that can come from fruit juice, as long as it’s 100 percent juice. Beware of words like “drink,” “beverage” or “cocktail” on the label, which means it’s not 100 percent juice and can have lots of added sugar.

The guidelines also discourage the use of sippy cups, saying juice “should not be sipped throughout the day or used as a means to calm an upset child.”

For children ages four to six, limit fruit juice to four to six ounces a day. Older children and teens can have eight ounces, or one cup.

In general, the AAP suggests parents stick to giving kids whole fruits, which are full of fiber. Those fruit gummies and chews don’t cut it as a substitute.

Read more about the new guidelines at CBS News.

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