The American Academy of Pediatrics is now recommending that young infants not be given juice until they are 12 months of age. They are encouraging parents to wait due to the increase in obesity and cavities in young children as starting early creates a habit that is hard to undo.
Juice is high in calories and loaded with sugar. Many parents think it’s better to give a kid a big glass of juice than a soda and while that premise is right it doesn’t mean that kids can drink juice with impunity. The reality is that orange juice has 112 calories in 8 oz and 20 grams of sugar. The recommendation for total daily caloric intake for kids from 4-8 years of age is 1500 and only 33 grams of sugar. One glass of juice is almost 10% of the daily caloric allowance and close to 65% of the recommended sugar intake.
According to CNN,
Despite this important caveat, the academy is standing by juice. The new guidelines state that 100% fresh or reconstituted fruit juice can be a healthy part of a well-balanced diet for children older than 1.
That said, the academy advises parents to limit juice to 4 ounces daily for toddlers between 1 and 3 years old. Juice should be provided in a cup, not a bottle or a box, both of which make it easy to drink juice all day, it says.