No Fruit Juice Recommended For Child's First Year

A leading pediatric group recently came out with a new report advising parents to eliminate giving fruit juice to babies less than one year of age. The new report by the American Academy of Pediatrics goes on to say that juice, once thought to be beneficial for young children, can be harmful to overall and dental health in a variety of ways. As your premiere Beaverton family dentist, Dr. Walker and the staff at Murray Schools Family Dental wants to keep you up-to-date on the latest in dental news. Read on to learn more.

No Nutritional Benefits

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently updated its own guidelines on fruit juice for the first time in over 16 years. Though many parents may believe that 100 percent fruit juice is good for young children, the amount of sugar in such drinks is very high. Repeated drinking can lead to early tooth decay and other health issues. Previously, the AAP had advised caretakers and parents to cut out 100 percent fruit juice for those younger than 6 months, but the revised stance states that juice just does not offer any nutritional benefits, and can interfere with babies getting needed minerals, fat, and proteins found in breast milk or formula.

100% Fruit Juice Can Cause Dental Decay

Many parents may mistakenly believe that fruit juice is the same as eating fresh fruit itself, but this is not the case. Fresh, whole fruit “contains more fiber than 100 percent juice and is less likely to cause dental decay,” says Steven Abrams, an author of the new report and the chairman of pediatrics at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, who was quoted in a recent New York Times article. He went on to say, “We want kids to learn how to eat fresh foods. If you assume fruit juice is equal to fruit, then you’re not getting that message.”

Sippy Cups: The Worst Offenders

The AAP also noted that parents should not let toddlers and babies drink juice from sippy cups, as these devices allow the sugar-rich liquid to sit on the teeth longer, which can lead to teeth decay and cavities. Dentists, like Murray Scholls Family Dental’s own Dr. Walker, have long warned about “bottle rot” or letting young children overindulge in sugary drinks, as they can adversely effect oral health.

Guidelines For Kids Of All Ages

Another of the main problems with 100 percent fruit juice is that kids are prone to drink many more empty calories without the needed fiber or protein, which can help a child feel full. Though the report did not find a direct link between obesity and the regular intake of fruit juice, it went on to say that juice “has no essential role in healthy, balanced diets of children.” The new report also says that children between 1 and 3 years old should limit their intake to 4 ounces, which goes up to 4-6 ounces a day for those 4 to 6 years old, and increases to 8 ounces for children from 7-18 years old.

If you have questions about your child’s oral health, please let us know and we can help you make the best decisions for their dental wellbeing. Contact our office today or click here to schedule your next visit.

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