Pediatricians Advise Parents to Limit Kids’ Fruit Juice Consumption

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AUSTIN, Texas - When it comes to energy, Becca Corley's children have plenty.

  • Babies should not be given juice at all. 
  • Fresh fruit is the recommended alternative. 

"I'm afraid that my kids will go crazy if I give them too much sugar,” Corley said. “They start getting a little hyper."

This is why she limits the amount of fruit juice in their diet.

"They basically get half a cup of orange juice in the morning if they want that, and that's it," she said.

Despite the common assumption that 100 percent fruit juice is healthy, pediatricians are now advising parents to limit consumption.

"Kids can drink a lot of calories with fruit juice, and it doesn't always make them feel really full and they may want to keep drinking it and keep drinking it," said Dr. Steven Abrams, Dell Medical School Pediatric Chair.

Many drinks that are marketed as fruit juice actually contain just a small percentage of juice.

"Diluted fruit juices at 5 or 10 percent fruit juice have a lot of added sugar and are no healthier than sodas," said Dr. Abrams.

Pediatricians advise limiting kids to about four to six ounces of fruit juice a day, and babies under one year of age should not consume any.

However, the real goal is for children to eat actual fruit.

"Raw fruits contain fiber which helps kids and their diet. They also tend to have a lot less calories per serving, and they fill kids up more readily," said Dr. Abrams.

It's all the more reason parents like Corley try to keep the fruit juice on the shelf.

"It's a special treat, not a necessary food item, so we do try to do that,” Corley said. “And we stick to water as much as we can because it's better for them."

And as kids know, even without extra sugar, life can still be pretty sweet.

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