100% fruit juice can be a healthy part of a child’s diet. Juice can be a good source of vitamin C, and when fortified with calcium can strengthen a child’s bones. But too much juice can cause tummy aches, tooth decay, and perhaps obesity. In addition, kids can fill up on juice and miss other important sources of nutrition.
The American Academy of Pediatrics issued recommendations in May 2001. For most children up to age 6, fruit juice should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces per day. For those 7 and over, 8 to 12 ounces per day is a good maximum. And juice never belongs in a baby bottle. These amounts are general guidelines – not all juices and not all babies are the same. Many fruit drinks contain some juice, but also contain extra sweeteners, artificial flavors, and other ingredients. These do not usually have the health benefits of 100% juice.