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May 6, 2002

"A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." —Henry Brooks Adams


The Healthy Child Care America newsletter (Winter 2000) published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, offers this caution about juice:

Many caregivers have made a practice of offering fruit juice and fruit drinks, instead of water, to children. While many juices are a healthy source of vitamin C, drinking more than 4 to 8 ounces of juice can cause problems for children. Feeding too much juice to children can cause diarrhea. Diarrhea from overfeeding juice is caused by sorbitol, one of the sugars found in juice. Some juices such as prune juice, have more sorbitol than others. Further, the sugars in fruit juices can erode the enamel of children's teeth.

Until a baby begins to drink from a cup, the only fluid offered should be breast milk or formula. When babies receive more than 8 to 10 ounces of juice, they many not eat the other nutritious foods they need to grow normally. Overconsumption of juice may also exacerbate a child's picky eating habits and may be implicated in excessive weight gain. Drinking water throughout the day is a good idea and helps keep the body well hydrated and healthy.

For more advice on health and safety issues in early childhood programs, check out the column "Ask Dr.Sue", written by respected authority Dr. Susan Aronson, in Child Care Information Exchange. To subscribe to Child Care Information Exchange, go to www.ChildCareExchange.com.


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