The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a new policy marking the first change in recommendations on fruit juice since 2001. (Children this age need about 1 cup total of fruit per day, so the rest of the fruit should be whole fruit).
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2003 and 2010 kids ate an increasing amount of whole fruit and drank less juice.
However, APP offers fresh fruit as the best alternative to juice consumption.
If you're craving something fruity and refreshing, try eating a piece of fruit instead.
"Small amounts in moderation are fine for older kids, but are absolutely unnecessary for children under 1", he adds.
"While some 100-percent fruit juice can be OK, in general it doesn't pack the nutritional punch that a lot of parents think it does", Dr. Ashton explained.
AAP also strongly cautioned against ingesting unpasteurized juice products and grapefruit juice among children taking specific medications. The AAP does not support the use of juice for treatment of dehydration and diarrhea.
And toss the sippy cups.
The group recommends a mother breastfeed her child until one year old or give the child formula instead of juice.
For instance, where four ounces of apple juice has 60 calories, 13g of sugar and no fiber, a half cup of apple slices has half the calories , only 5.5g of sugar and 1.5g of fiber.
"[Juice] should not be sipped throughout the day or used as a means to calm an upset child", the AAP guidelines state.
One of the problems with giving juice to infants and toddlers is the risk of tooth decay.
A maximum of six ounces of fruit juice a day is now recommended for kids between the ages of 4 and 6 and for those between 7 and 18, no more than eight ounces daily. Because juice tastes good, children readily accept it. But "like soda, it can contribute to energy imbalance".
Samantha Montgomery, a dietitian at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, said a healthy diet for older children can include some juice, but whole fruit is superior. "Do strawberries or blueberries or bananas on cereal", she suggested.
Kids and parents should also keep in mind that fruit juice and fruit drinks are not the same.
The new recommendations were made out of concern over rising obesity rates and tooth decay. That can lead to too much or too little weight gain.
Consumption, however, should be limited depending on a child's age. It is not useful for the management of diarrheal illnesses and may predispose infants or young children to the development of hyponatremia.
"I encourage parents to provide a variety of fruits - different colors and textures", King said.
Dropping sliced berries or citrus slices into dinner salads or a child's glass of water is another way to increase whole fruit intake, and it's tasty, said King. Still, parents should avoid giving it to their kids, pediatricians say. New advice from pediatricians explains why. "Fruits and vegetables are not the same".