Juice — Too Much of A Good Thing?

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.

Published on: May 21, 2001
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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Dear Dr Green,

My baby is 9months old, from time to time she gets constipated. Her poo is dark green, hard and sometimes its like small hard pellets. Her poo is smelly. She’s on Nan Perlagon 2. and Purity cereal. What can I give her to ease her stomach or is it the formula that’s the problem.


I’m not familiar with Nan Perlagon 2 and Purity Cereal, but at 9 months old, fruits and vegetables are great and can greatly help digestion. You don’t need to buy special baby food, just make sure the fruits and vegetables are not a choking hazard by mashing them up to a consistency that is age appropriate. Some foods, like sweet potatoes, require cooking before mashing. Other foods, like avocados, can be mashed while raw.

I hope this is helpful.