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Doctors Warn Against Fruit Juices For Children Under 1

Fruit juice or fresh fruit? The American Academy of Pediatrics just announced a new change in recommendations on fruit juice since 2001.

Doctors say all children under the age of 1 should not drink fruit juice as it has no nutritional value, according to the AAP.

Fresh fruit is preferable for older children considering it offers dietary fiber and less sugar than juice, according to the updated policy statement.

In past years, the Academy advised against children 6 months or younger consuming fruit juice. Now, it has expanded that time frame to include the first full year.

Studies over recent years show that fruit juice consumption in infants, children, and adolescents accounts for the rising rates of obesity and dental concerns, like tooth decay.

“Parents may perceive fruit juice as healthy, but it is not a good substitute for fresh fruit and just packs in more sugar and calories,” Melvin B. Heyman, MD, FAAP said. “Small amounts in moderation are fine for older kids, but are absolutely unnecessary for children under 1.”

The new recommendations also state that 100-percent fresh or reconstituted fruit juice is fine for kids older than 1 to drink if it's part of a well-balanced diet, but it all depends on a child's age.

Do you have children? What do you think about these new guidelines?

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Sarah Francis is a half-Palestinian journalism junkie, a proud Charlotte, NC native with an oversized sweet tooth, and an active world traveler. Ask her where she's headed next. (@Sarah_Francis25)