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Wednesday
Sep182019

Major new beverage guidelines for kids 5 and under: What parents should know

SilviaJansen/iStock(NEW YORK) -- Give kids little to no juice and more water.

That's the top line of what parents need to know about major new beverage guidelines for children from birth to age 5 issued by an unprecedented collaboration of major health organizations.

The guidelines show that beverages "may have the same impact on our overall level of nutrition, wellness and disease as food," according to ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton, who was not involved in their creation.

They are the first "comprehensive recommendations" for beverage consumption for kids from birth to age 5, according to Healthy Eating Research, a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focused on kids' nutrition.

Healthy Eating Research released the guidelines Wednesday after convening a panel of experts from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Heart Association.

Here is what parents need to know about the guidelines:

0-6 months: Breast milk or infant formula only; no fruit juice or other liquids of any kind.

6-12 months: Breast milk or infant formula; small amounts of plain drinking water okay once solid foods are introduced; no fruit juice.

12-24 months: Whole milk and plain drinking water; very limited 100 percent fruit juice on occasion.

2-5 years: Skim or low-fat milk and plain drinking water; very limited 100  percent fruit juice on occasion.

The best thing parents can do for their kids in addition to following the guidelines is to lead by example with their own beverage choices, according to Ashton.

"Don't drink your calories," she said. "Water is best."

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