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Nix the fruit juice before age 1

baby with sippy cup Is your baby’s bottle or sippy cup filled with fruit juice? If so, it’s time to make a switch, says the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). In its latest evidence-based policy statement, the organization says “fruit juice offers no nutritional benefit to children under age 1 and should not be included in their diet.”

The organization says drinking juice adds extra sugar and calories, and it contributes to poor nutrition, cavities and obesity. Other recommendations:

  • Breast milk or formula is appropriate for infants from birth to 1 year.
  • Whole milk is recommended for 1- and 2-year-olds.
  • Low- or nonfat milk and water are sufficient for older children.
  • Fruit juice shouldn’t be used to treat dehydration or diarrhea. Instead use an electrolyte replacement solution, according to your doctor’s instructions.

For children older than age 1, small amounts of juice are OK, however unpasteurized juice is strongly discouraged for all children. The AAP says fresh fruit is better because it offers dietary fiber and less sugar. Learn more about the AAP’s daily fruit juice guidelines or ask your child’s provider about proper nutrition for his or her age.