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New AAP Policy on Fruit Juice

The American Academy of Pediatrics will soon publish new guidelines on fruit juice intake for infants and children in the June issue of Pediatrics. The AAP released a policy statement originally in 2001 (and revised in 2006) that recommended no juice for infants less than 6 months of age, 4-6 ounces daily for children ages 1-6 and 8-12 ounces for children 7  years and older. However, with the rise in childhood obesity and dental caries, these amounts will be decreased considerably.

The new recommendations are:

– Infants under age 1 should not have any juice in their diet unless needed in the management of constipation.
– Toddlers between age 1-3 should be limited to 4 ounces of juice daily.
– Children ages 4-6 should be limited to 4-6 ounces of juice daily.
– Children ages 7-18 should be limited to 8 ounces of juice daily.

The new policy also stresses the importance of whole fresh fruit in children’s diets since whole fruits add much-needed fiber to combat constipation. Toddlers should also not be given juice in bottles or cups that can be carried around all day as this promotes dental caries. Fruit juice should not be given at bedtime or used to calm an upset child. Although some fruits juices may contain vitamin C, calcium and Vitamin D, there is minimal nutritional value to fruit juice in a child’s diet. Juice lacks fiber and protein that are critical for the optimal growth in children. Water and low-fat or non-fat cow’s milk are more than sufficient as
fluid sources for children after weaning from breastmilk or formula.

More information

How Much Sugar is Appropriate for Your Child?

Have you ever wondered how much sugar is appropriate for your child? A recent study by the American Heart Association entitled Added Sugars and Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Children,  published in the journal Circulation attempts to give guidance on this very issue.  The guidelines make a distinction between “Added Sugars,” which are sugars added to a food to increase palatability, and “Naturally Occurring Sugars,” which are an innate part of a food such as fruit.  The authors’ recommendations are as follows:

  1. Children should not drink more than 8oz of sugar sweetened beverages/week.
  2. Children/Adolescents should consume < 25grams (approximately 6 teaspoons) of  added sugars/day.
  3. Added sugars should be avoided in children < 2 years old.

“Added sugars” is one of the new categories to be included on the Updated Nutrition Facts Label promised by the FDA. Most manufacturers must comply to the new label by July 2018.

 

http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2016/08/22/CIR.0000000000000439
http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/labelingnutrition/ucm385663.htm