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Parents are often surprised when I tell them that fruit juice isn’t always the healthiest option for their kids. The truth of the matter is, most store-bought juices and fruit drinks are loaded with added sugar and preservatives, leading to tooth decay at early ages.
In general, fruit juice offers really no added nutritional benefit over whole fruit for infants and children. 100% fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be a healthy part of the diet of children older than one year when consumed as part of a well-balanced meal. Use caution with fruit drinks which are NOT nutritionally equivalent to 100% fruit juice.
Because of the increase in early childhood dental caries, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued a recommendation for fruit juice intake based on age.
Kids ages 7 -18 should limit consumption to eight ounces a day. Children ages 4-6 can have four to six ounces a day and toddlers ages 1 – 3 should have no more than four ounces a day. Babies younger than one year should not have any juice at all!
To help parents out there, your friendly, neighborhood dentist in Maryland put together a list of helpful tips regarding juice consumption for your kiddos.
If you have questions about your child’s juice consumption or overall diet, let us know at your next appointment and we can talk through them! The team at Dr. Camps Pediatric Dental Center in Maryland is happy to help in any way we can.