Once your baby starts eating solids, many parents might be wondering when it’s okay to start giving them something to drink other than formula or breast milk. But even though your pediatrician might say a little water is fine, that doesn’t mean that they should also drink a little juice.

According to new guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics, babies should not be given fruit juice until they are least 1-year-old.

Of course there is always an exception to the recommendation, namely, if the pediatrician advises the parent to do so to treat constipation.

Published in the May issue of the journal of Pediatrics, the AAP suggests that the maximum daily intake of 100 % fruit juices for children ages 1 to 3 should only be 4 ounces. Along with that recommendation, the guideline for children ages 4- to 6-years-old is 4-6 ounces and 8 ounces for children 7-years-old and older.

The AAP cites the growing rates of childhood obesity and risk of cavities as the reasons why they decided on making the change. Children who are gaining excessive weight are recommended not to drink any fruit juice.

Instead, parents should focus on getting fresh fruit into all children’s diets instead of relying on juice. Although juices like orange juice contain things like vitamin C, fresh fruit is more nutritious than juice, especially when it comes to its amount of fiber.

Keep in mind that breast (until they are weaning off) or cow milk along with water should continue to be the primary fluid course for babies after six months.

Along with the obesity concerns related to consuming too many sugary drinks, the Academy is also concerned about dental problems that can be linked to sipping on the sweet stuff all day.

Parents should not give juice in bottles, allow their toddlers to keep drinking from the same soppy cup all day that is filled with juice, give juice at bedtime or use juice as a reward or a means to calm them down.

The new guidelines adds an additional six month to the previously suggested age when a baby can start drinking juice, which was set back in 2001.

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