Pediatricians group: Don't give juice to kids

Tuesday, May 23, 2017 03:56PM
Children and teens are the top consumers of juice and juice drinks in the U.S., but now the nation's largest group of pediatricians hopes to alter that.


LOS ANGELES - Children and teens are the top consumers of juice and juice drinks in the U.S., but now the nation's largest group of pediatricians hopes to alter that.

The new recommendations could change what parents give their kids to drink and what restaurants offer on the menu.

Next to formula, water is 9-month-old Evelyn Ferguson's favorite drink. Thanks to her mom, Evelyn doesn't know anything else.

"There's really not a reason for any one of us to have juice, it's just sugar," said Ferguson.

New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics say children under the age of one should not be given fruit juice at all unless a doctor says it's okay.

Previously, the group said infants could start at six months, but the AAP changed their recommendations out of concern for rising obesity rates and tooth decay.

Sylvia Dwork's one year old, Brooklyn, only drinks water and milk. "I asked the dentist about her teeth and he said worse than sugary foods is juice," Dwork said.

Juice is also known to give kids diarrhea and gas. Unpasteurized juice can also expose children to pathogens, leading to serious illness.

For children between one and three, the academy recommends parents limit fruit juices to no more than four ounces a day, which is half a cup.

Pediatrician Dr. Marsha Gerro of Burbank said, "If you want to squeeze juice at home and give it to a child older than a year, that's okay. But other than that, forget the juice."

If you're going to give juice to toddlers, doctors say don't serve it in anything kids can have access to for a long period of time such as a sippy cup or bottle. Pediatricians also advise parents not to give juice at bedtime.

"We've known that for years. Those kids will definitely end up with more problems with dental decay, " said Gerro.

Pediatricians would rather kids eat whole fruit than juice. "It's much better to have the fruit. This way you get the fiber," Gerro said.

As for older kids, doctors recommend a maximum of six ounces of juice for kids between four and six, and no more than a cup of juice a day for those up to age 18.

Dwork said she's going to do her best to keep juice out of her daughter's diet for as long as she can.

"It's really important to give them water when they're thirsty. They become used to it," said Dwork.
(Copyright ©2017 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.)
Outbrain