Ask Dr. Swanson: Is fruit juice healthy?

New recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics says babies under the age of one should not drink fruit juice. That is six months older than past guidelines.

How much sugary fruit juice is alright for children to drink? Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s hospital, shares tips for parents on monitoring your child's juice consumption.

What is fruit juice?
- Predominantly water and carbohydrates (sucrose, fructose, glucose, and sorbitol)
- Some have naturally occurring high contents of potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C
- Juice for infants typically do not contain sulfites or added sugars.

Effects of fruit juice
- Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits for infants younger than 1-year-old
- Excessive juice consumption is associated with diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal distention, and tooth decay
- Excessive juice consumption may be associated with malnutrition (overnutrition and undernutrition)

American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations
- Do not give juice to infants before 1 year of age.
- Do not put juice in bottles or sippy cups, and do not give it to them at bedtime – reduce time allowed to consume juice easily throughout the day.
- Encourage eating whole fruit to meet their recommended daily fruit intake.
- Avoid juice if your child has diarrhea – it is not appropriate in the treatment or management of dehydration.

Resources
- AAP – Fruit juice in jnfants, children, and adolescents: Current recommendations
- AAP – Trends in food and beverage consumption among infants and toddlers: 2005–12

© 2017 KING-TV


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