The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some new advice for parents that might surprise you. Just like adults, children and infants require a certain amount of daily fruit, but the way many kids are getting it has caused concerns for doctors.
Fruit juice has been a tasty substitute used by parents to get children their daily fruit requirements, but new information says this might not be the best idea.
In fact, because of this new information the AAP has actually altered their advised age of consuming fruit juice. The old recommendation was that any child under 6 months should not drink fruit juice at all, but it has now been expanded to all children under 1 year old.
The reason for the change is that the juice was shown to be related to tooth decay and weight gain in infants and young children. Steven Abrams, one of the authors of the guidelines published in Pediatrics, explained the goals of the report saying,
“We want to reinforce that the most recent evidence supports that fruit juice should be a limited part of the diet of children.”
As children get older, 100 percent juice is more acceptable, but should still make up only a small portion of their daily fruit serving. According to the guidelines, whole fruit is a much better provider of vitamins and nutrients than juice, which seems obvious but often goes overlooked.
Data from a study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that from 2003 to 2010 children ate more fruit and drank less juice than previously recorded. Which is promising, however 60 percent of kids are still not getting the suggested amount of fruit.
The problem then becomes getting your child to eat fruit in the first place. Luckily, fruit is naturally sweet and most parents will be able to find a fruit their kids like. For those who cannot, a 2003 study found that daily tastes of a food for two weeks or longer increases children’s preference and acceptance.
While doctors would love for kids to get their daily fruit intake from only whole fruit, these guidelines were created because this just is not the case for most parents and children. So, share these recommendations because everyone could afford to be a bit more fruity!