Fruit Juice Recommendations

May 22, 2018 by: Pediatrics for Parents staff Article Tags:

Many parents think of fruit juice as a healthy way to satisfy a child’s thirst. According to a recent policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), “Fruit juice offers no nutritional benefits over whole fruit for infants and children and has no essential role in the healthy, balanced diets of children.”

According to Melvin B. Heyman, MD, “While 100% fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be healthy when consumed as part of a well-balanced diet for children older than 1 year, it offers no nutritional benefit to children under 1 year and should not be included in their diet.”

This is the first update of the AAP’s recommendations on fruit juice consumption by infants and children since 2001.

The AAP recommended the following juice consumption:
•    4 ounces for toddlers ages 1-3
•    4 to 6 ounces for children ages 4-6
•    8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2 to 2½ cups of fruit servings per day for children ages 7-18

Other recommendations for monitoring juice consumption among children included:
•    Not giving toddlers juice from bottles or easily transportable covered cups that allow them to consume juice easily throughout the day, nor giving juice at bedtime

•    Strongly discouraging consumption of unpasteurized juice products in infants, children, and adolescents

•    Avoiding grapefruit juice in any child taking medication without checking with the prescriber or pharmacist. Grapefruit juice can interfere with intestinal absorption of the drug.