June 16, 2017 – Changing Practice
Anchor lead: How hard will it be to get parents to stop giving fruit juice to babies? Elizabeth Tracey reports
Fruit juice should not be given to infants, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended, with amounts for toddlers and older children also sharply reduced. Laura Davis, a pediatric nutrition expert at Johns Hopkins, says this is likely to be a tough change to implement for many parents.
Davis: There are a lot of family traditions and family practices that guide how infants and children are fed in our communities and a lot of that comes from cultural beliefs and preferences. And I think cutting into that is going to be a big, big challenge. A lot of the perception is we did it this way when I was a child so we’re going to continue to do it this way and so it’s a knowledge barrier gap. Trying to address that in a way from an education standpoint and get patients and families buy-in is going to be a big challenge. :33
Davis notes that older kids especially should be fed the whole fruit rather than juice, since it contains fiber and other nutrients not found in juice. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.