- By Dana Sparks
No fruit juice for babies younger than 1
"We tell our patients we want children to eat their fruit ─ not drink it," says Dr. Angela Mattke, a pediatrician with Mayo Clinic Children's Center. Dr. Mattke is responding to new recommendations that babies under 1 should not drink fruit juice. She supports the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations published today in Pediatrics.
With rates of childhood obesity and dental health problems increasing, the American Academy of Pediatrics panel decided to revisit the issue of children under 1 drinking sugary juices. Dr. Mattke says, "The general conversation I've always had with patients is, we don't want fruit juice to replace actual fruit. As a practice, we encourage minimizing use of fruit juice for all ages, but especially babies. Today's recommendations just reinforce that."
The American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement recommendations include:
Dr. Mattke adds, "Kids who tend to drink more sweetened beverages, specifically those who use a bottle or a sippy cup throughout the day, are constantly bathing their teeth in sugars and carbohydrates." Also, Dr. Mattke says the dietary fiber that comes from eating fruits is extremely important for children of all ages.