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Infant Health: Do Not Give Fruit Juice To Babies, Pediatricians Say

Update Date: May 31, 2017 02:07 AM EDT
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Pediatricians said that babies should not be given fruit juice in their first year. The effect of this believed to be nutritious drink on infant health is not as beneficial as many parents perceive.

According to The New York Times, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a new guideline that parents should not give 100 percent fruit juice to babies who are less than six months. The group recommended that the drink should be prohibited until the baby is over a year old.

Effects Of Fruit Juice On Infant Health

A major point is that juice does not offer any nutritional benefits early in life. It should not replace breast milk or formula with their protein, fat, and minerals like calcium - which is what babies really need. This is the first time the group updated its guidelines on fruit juice since 2001.

Another reason is that, juice is full of sugar and can lead to tooth decay. Also, because it tastes so good, it is easy for younger kids to consume too much, the Academy added (via NBC News).

What Happens Next?

There are still no indications if an upcoming U.S.D.A. guidance will ban juice for infants. Although the very young will be included for the first time in the 2020 guidelines, according to Brooke Hardison, a department spokeswoman.

There are federal assistance programs which controlled juice for young children. Back in 2009, the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) has stopped listing juice as an acceptable purchase on the checks given to new mothers and babies in their first year.

Other Alternatives Beneficial To Infant Health

Experts said that young babies do not need juice unless prescribed by a doctor. Toddlers ranging between the age of one to three are allowed to get no more than four ounces a day of juice and up to six ounces for kids up to age six.

It was also mentioned that juice in bottles or sippy cups should not be given to toddlers at bedtime. Meanwhile, it would be best for them to eat fruit instead.

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