American Academy of Pediatrics updates child juice intake guidelines
If human energy levels could be measured by a simple observation, then most kindergarten classes would measure off the charts.

Ask any of the staff members at Little Newtons in Plymouth, and they'll admit that teaching a hyper child has its challenges.

"Difficult. It can be difficult," said Krissy Finco, the chief compliance officer of Little Newtons in Plymouth. 

Finco says it would be even more difficult if the kids ingest too much sugar.

"When the children get too much sugar, they get that shot of adrenaline, and they get hyper active," Finco says. "When dealing with that, it's really hard for them to sit down and focus on anything when it comes to, like, education."

That's why one thing you won't find in these classrooms are juice boxes.

"Here at Little Newtons, we do not serve juice," Finco said. "We serve milk and water. This does help cut down on the intake of sugar throughout the day."

Medical professionals hope others follow suit. In May, the American Academy of Pediatrics released new guidelines on juice consumption.

They say that children should have no juice until the age of one.

"Previous recommendations, it was until the age of six months," Finco said.

Meanwhile, toddlers should only have about four ounces of juice a day; and kids between the ages of four and six should only have about four to six ounces of juice.

"These guidelines were actually changed because of the concerns for child obesity as well as cavities," Finco said.

Many juice labels will draw attention to the vitamin content, but the amount of sugar they contain is essentially the same as a can of soda.

"If we're filling the children up on juice, they're getting a bunch of empty calories and then they're not hungry for those healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables and things like that, that we actually consider brain foods," Finco said.

The hope is that by limiting juice and sugar intake at a young age, that kids will grow up to have healthy habits that will last a lifetime.

"So the more nutrition they have, the more brain power they're going to have for their education in the future," Finco said.

For a full look at the guidelines suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics, click here.

Delane Cleveland

June 6, 2017


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