The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced on Monday new guidelines to address one of the most commonly asked questions among parents. Is it ok to give my infant fruit juice.

if you’re child is under 6 months old, the answer is no.

“An AAP policy statement published in 2001 and reaffirmed in 2006 recommended no juice for children younger than 6 months of age, 4-6 ounces daily for children ages 1-6 years and 8-12 ounces for children 7 and older,” the AAP said in a statement on its website. “Since then, however, considerable concern has been expressed about increasing obesity rates and risks for dental caries.”

The recommendation is the first change to the academy’s fruit juice recommendations since 2001.

It wasn’t “some magical new science” that inspired the alteration, noted Abrams, but rather “this (guideline) hadn’t been looked at in a long time, so we thought it was time to take a close look.”
‘Not good for the teeth’

Children and teens continue to be the top consumers of juice and juice drinks in the US, the policy statement notes.

“The problem is, parents will stick a bottle or sippy cup in the kid’s mouth and kind of leave it there all day. That’s not good from the calorie-intake perspective, and it’s sure not good for the teeth,” Abrams said. “What happens is, the kid then gets used to all the sugar, and then they won’t drink water.”

In addition, the group said, fruit juice is not appropriate in the treatment of dehydration or management of diarrhea.

“We know that excessive fruit juice can lead to excessive weight gain and tooth decay,” said co-author Steven Abrams. “Pediatricians have a lot of information to share with families on how to provide the proper balance of fresh fruit within their child’s diet.”