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May 9, 2019


ThedaCare Provider Explains Why Juice Provides No Nutritional Value for Very Young Children

May 9, 2019

Recommendation: NO JUICE for children under 1

ThedaCare Provider Explains Why Juice Provides No Nutritional Value for Very Young Children

KIMBERLY, Wis. – When we think of cutting sugary sodas and other high-calorie beverages from our diet, juice often comes to mind as a healthy alternative. But for very young children, juice isn’t a good option.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no juice at all for children under one-year-old, expanding its recommendation from infants six months old, citing the high sugar content and lack of dietary benefit.

“It’s really not needed—breast milk or formula meets the child’s nutritional requirements,” said Dr. Rebecca Doro, a family practice physician at ThedaCare Physicians-Kimberly. “Drinking juice instead of milk or formula can prevent kids from getting all the nutrients they need.”

Parents might believe juice is a healthy drink because it’s made from fruit or because advertising suggests it contains certain vitamins and calcium, but those labels can be misleading. While there are brands that offer 100 percent juice, many brands also contain corn syrup and other sugars.

“Fruit juice mostly adds a lot of calories and sugar,” said Dr. Doro. “That’s not healthy, and it can contribute to obesity and cavities.”

Giving children fruit puree or pieces of fruit provides much better nutritional content, including fiber and proteins that juice doesn’t have, Doro said. If parents choose to give their children pieces of fruit they should reduce the choking hazard by cutting small pieces lengthwise, or putting fruit in a special mesh feeder that allows babies to gum whole fruit. Grapes are the biggest hazard.

Breastfeeding or formula remains the best for babies six months old and younger, she said.

Other recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics include:

  • Limiting juice for children ages 1 to 3 to four ounces daily.
  • Limiting juice for children ages 4 to 6 to a maximum of six ounces daily.
  • Limiting juice intake to 8 ounces daily for children ages 7 to 18.
  • No consumption of unpasteurized juice.
  • Do not provide toddlers with sippy cups of juice. Exposure to sugary drinks throughout the day can lead to tooth decay.

Dr. Doro recommends not keeping juice in the house.

“If your kids are not used to drinking juice, they won’t ask for it,” Doro said. “That can help lead to better choices when it comes to making drink decisions for your family.”

About ThedaCare

For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to finding a better way to deliver serious and complex healthcare to patients throughout Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization serves a community of more than 600,000 residents and employs more than 6,700 healthcare professionals throughout the regions. ThedaCare has seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, Waupaca, Shawano, New London and Wild Rose as well as 31 clinics in nine counties. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a non-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.

For more information, visit or follow ThedaCare on Facebook and Twitter.

Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.