Here’s why you should stop giving your baby fruit juice

Here’s why you should stop giving your baby fruit juice

Babies should be kept from drinking juice until they are 12 months old, according to the newest guidelines by the American Association of Pediatrics. This latest recommendation is an update to previous guidelines that recommended holding off on juice boxes until babies reached 6 months of age.

According to the AAP’s official statement, although fruit juices are advertised as a healthy beverage, these drinks offer no nutritional value to babies and children.

The AAP’s guidelines offer 12 recommendations for how fruit juices should, or should not be, incorporated into a child’s diet. For example, the guidelines suggest parents avoid giving juice to toddlers in a bottle or sippy cup that is easy to drink from.

The AAP also recommends that children be encouraged to eat whole fruit.

“Whole fruits help provide added fiber, decrease cholesterol and blood sugar in the body and clean out the colon,” says Dr. JoAnn Ruiz, a pediatrician at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago. “Eating whole fruits also prevents weight gain and tooth decay.”

Dr. Ruiz encourages parents to give water to children at an early age and introduce babies to solid foods using pureed vegetables before pureed fruits.

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About the Author

Jaimie Oh
Jaimie Oh

Jaimie Oh, health enews contributor, is regional manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Health Care. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has nearly a decade of experience working in publishing, strategic communications and marketing. Outside of work, Jaimie trains for marathons with the goal of running 50 races before she turns 50 years old.