Eric G. Jackson, DDS, MAGD, FICOI, FADI, FICD
One of the most frequent questions I’ll be asked when I speak with parents of young children is “How much juice should I be giving my child?” Discussion would invariably ensue about potential conditions caused by increased sugar intake (obesity, cavities, etc) with increase nutritional value (hydration, Vitamin-C, etc). Many of the answers to these questions were updated by new recommendations/guidelines issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) in the June 2017 publication of Pediatrics.
The purpose of my article today is to help publicize these new recommendations and not restate the AAP’s policy statement. For those of you who wish to read an excellent, and surprisingly in-depth, summary of the recommendations, please read the following AAP News bulletin: http://www.aappublications.org/news/2017/05/22/FruitJuice052217. For an equally excellent video summary of the new 2017 AAP recommendations on fruit juice, visit their YouTube channel and watch the following video: https://youtu.be/44r2bG0qgXY. For those that wish to read the full article found in Pediatrics June 2017, Volume 139/Issue 6 it can be found on the AAPs website: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/139/6/e20170967.
The following are brief summary of the new 2017 recommendations on fruit juice for infants, children, and adolescents from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
- Juice should not be introduced to infants before 1 year unless clinically indicated. Daily intake should be limited to 4 ounces in toddlers ages 1-3 years, 4-6 ounces for those 4-6 years. For those 7-18 years, limit juice intake to 8 ounces or 1 cup of the recommended 2-2½ cups of fruit servings/day.
- Toddlers should not be given juice from bottles or easily transportable covered cups that make it easy to consume throughout the day, nor should they be given juice at bedtime.
- Children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits and educated on the benefit of fiber intake. (Remember the AAP’s sentiment - “Eat fruit…Don’t drink it.”)
- Families should be educated that human milk and/or infant formula is sufficient to satisfy fluid requirements for infants, and low-fat/nonfat milk and water are sufficient for older children.
- Consumption of unpasteurized juice products should be strongly discouraged.
- Grapefruit juice should be avoided in those taking certain medications (see policy).
- When evaluating children with malnutrition — as well as chronic diarrhea, excessive flatulence, abdominal pain and bloating — pediatricians should determine the amount of juice being consumed.
- In evaluating risk for dental caries, discuss the relationship between fruit juice and dental decay, and inquire about the amount and means of juice consumption.
- Routinely discuss the use of fruit juice vs. fruit drinks, and educate older children and parents about the differences.
If you would like to speak about this topic, or any other, please feel free to call the office and schedule a complimentary appointment with me. Email and Twitter are also available options. I am extremely passionate about modern dentistry and love discussing it with patients, so don’t hesitate to contact me.
Eric G. Jackson, DDS, MAGD, FICOI, FICD, FADI