The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against all fruit juice prior to 6 months of age. After 6 months of age, parents need to understand that fruit juice really has no nutritional value for their child. We should consider it closer to a dessert, because fruit juice — even 100 percent fruit juice — is full of sugar.

In the case of 100 percent fruit juice, there is natural sugar, but sugar nevertheless. This sugar coats the teeth and puts the child at increased risk of cavities.

Offer whole fruits instead

Offer your child whole fruits instead of fruit juice. Whole fruits are full of vitamins, have great fiber and have a high water content for children.

Serve juice responsibly

If you’re going to serve juice, try limiting it to 4 ounces a day. As soon as possible after drinking juice, brush your child’s teeth.

When juice is never okay

There are a few absolute NOs when it comes to juice ingestion. First, never put juice in a bottle, because it dramatically increases your child’s risk of cavities. Secondly, don’t treat diarrhea with juice. It’ll make the problem even worse.

So when it comes to your pediatrician, we prefer your children eat their fruits instead of drinking them.


  1. Great tips! I’ve served “juice” in the form of a smoothie that has no actual juice and actually has some hidden spinach in it – I only hope this preference lasts for a long time since it works so well!

  2. My son loves water, too. At 21 months old, he has never had juice. We haven’t come across anyone else offering him juice yet, but hopefully he’ll realize it’s just a special occasion type of thing. He already associates birthday parties with cake, so birthdays will just be for special treats all around. We don’t usually have a lot of sweets (other than fruit) in the house anyway.

  3. I never offered my oldest daughter juice as a baby. Now at 3 years old, she doesn’t really like it. I never buy it for our house, but she does get it at birthday parties etc. She usually brings me the juice box and asks for water instead. She loves water and that makes me one happy mommy. 🙂


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