Like many parents, you may consider "natural" fruit juice a healthy snack, and if you have a picky eater, you may be tempted to give him/her lots of juice to supplement their diet. But young children who drink large amounts of fruit juice, apple juice in particular, are at risk for severe nutritional deficiencies that can interfere with normal growth, according to researchers at the Maimonides Medical Center in New York City. Drinking juice throughout the day will decrease a child's appetite, making eating problems even worse. Juices with lots of fructose and sorbitol sugars can cause diarrhea, bloating, and cramps when not fully digested. And kids who constantly guzzle juice from a bottle are susceptible to cavity-causing bacteria. It's best to give young children real fruits and vegetables or water, which is essential for a balanced diet and won't interfere with their appetites. If you decide to serve juice, wait until your child is a year old and serve it only in a cup as a beverage with a meal - not as a snack. Toddlers should drink no more than four to eight ounces of juice a day. Older kids should be limited to one or F.A.A.P., taken from August 1994 issue of Child magazine* -Posted for
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