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Should my child drink juice?

 

Akemi Glass, registered dietician, Community Hospital

Question: Should my child drink juice?

Answer: Kids are thirsty critters, and most of them have a sweet tooth as well. So it’s not surprising that children drink lots of juice and juice products. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, they’re drinking way too much of the stuff.

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics advise that infants should never be given juice. What they need is the nourishment that comes from breast milk or formula. Kids up to 6 years old should be downing only about half a cup of juice a day. The empty calories of too many juice drinks, pediatricians say, lead to chronic stomach upsets, obesity and malnutrition.

Older children and adolescents should limit their juice intake to 12 ounces daily. They need to be encouraged to drink more bone-building milk products and to avoid sugary calories.

With average juice containers measuring well over the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended maximum, changing juice habits won’t be easy.  Even a small reduction is bound to help kids’ health. 

 

Page Last Modified: 05/01/2014
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