The American Academy of Pediatrics has recently updated their recommendations on juice consumption for infants, children and adolescents. Here are the highlights.

  • Fruit juices are not nutritionally equivalent to whole fruit due to its lack of fiber.
  • Fruit juice does not offer any nutritional benefit over eating whole fruit for infants and children. It does it not play an essential role in a healthy children’s diet, and should not be given to children under the age of 1 (unless clinically indicated).
    Early introduction of fruit juice may be associated with a shift in food consumption, having juice replace foods that are higher in protein, fat, and vitamins and minerals. In addition, excess consumption may be related to malnutrition and short stature in children who consume excess amounts of fruit juice.
  • Excessive juice consumption is associated with digestive problems including diarrhea, flatulence and abdominal distension. Furthermore, excess juice consumption is associated with tooth decay. Tooth decay risk increases in children who consume fruit juice from bottles, covered cups and in those who consume juice at bedtime.
  • For children aged 1 to 3, intake of juice should be limited to 4 oz per day. For children aged 4 to 6, daily intake should not exceed 6 oz. For children aged 7 to 18, juice intake should not exceed 8 oz per day.

Overall, children should be encouraged to meet their daily fruit intake through the consumption of whole fruit and by consuming fruit juice.

For more information on nutrition, health, or how naturopathic medicine can help you, please call 613-290-6115.

Graham Beaton is a naturopathic doctor practicing in Ottawa.