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- Is It Good to Add Fruit and Vegetable Juice to Baby’s Diet?
- At What Age Should Baby Start Having Fruit and Vegetable Juices?
- Things to Remember While Giving Juice to Babies
- What Fruits & Vegetables Are Best for Babies?
- Can You Give Homemade Juice to Babies?
- Can You Use the Juice From Fruits That Have Been Steamed (or) Boiled for Fruit Purees?
- Can Fruit Juice Cause Dental Problem in Babies?
- Can Fruit Juice Cause Any Other Harm to Your Baby?
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We all know that breast milk is something that is essential for every infant. It provides their tiny little bodies with nutrition and even helps to build the immune system. But once they hit the 6-month mark, it is a wise idea to diversify their food intake.
Is It Good to Add Fruit and Vegetable Juice to Baby’s Diet?
Yes, the nutrition that your baby receives from vegetable and fruit juice makes it a good choice to add to her diet. However, it is important to remember that solid food cannot be supplemented with juice alone as her body is growing and needs large amounts of protein, fats, calcium, etc.
At What Age Should Baby Start Having Fruit and Vegetable Juices?
“By when can babies drink juice?” is a question that often plagues parents. During the initial six months, it is best to avoid giving her juice. This is because she needs all that space in her little belly to consume breast milk which helps provide antibodies along with nutrition. After that, your little bundle of joy can begin with juices along with solid food once baby completes the sixth month of its birth.
Things to Remember While Giving Juice to Babies
Tinned fruit juices should be avoided since they are high in sugar and low nutrient value.
- Use a cup and a spoon to give her juice instead of a bottle. Begin with small portions – maybe two tablespoons a day (broken down into small sips).
- Make sure you give diluted juices to her initially, as it is easier on the stomach. Diluting this juice initially can be 25:75 ratio, 25 being the fruit.
- Begin with a single fruit or vegetable so that her digestive system can get used to it.
- Observe closely for any allergic reactions that might be caused because of the juice, and discontinue immediately if any such allergy is noticed.
- Always boil the fruit/vegetables and avoid giving raw juice as much as possible.
- Start with simple local foods such as apple, pear, carrot or radish.
- Always read the back of processed baby juice products to make sure the juice is pasteurized.
- Do not supplement juice for either water or solid food.
- Juice for babies at seven months should be boiled fruits and vegetables. Babies at this age also need to be observed for reactions, so it is wise to use diluted juice. Feed your child not more than 2 tbsp a day.
- Juice for babies at eight months can be raw, but it must be thoroughly cleaned. At this age, parents can try new forms of juices.
- Make sure to give juice along with solid foods so that your baby can absorb the extra nutrition easily.
- The best first juice for baby is the juice of a boiled and stewed apple or pear. Make sure to boil and skew the apple and grind the juice out.
What Fruits & Vegetables Are Best for Babies?
Here is a list of healthy juice for babies:
1. Stewed boiled apple juice
2. Tender coconut
3. Grape juice (raw)
4. Muskmelon juice (raw)
5. Watermelon juice (raw)
6. Boiled carrot juice
7. Orange juice (raw)
8. Boiled tomato juice
9. Sapota juice (raw)
10. Boiled pear juice
11. Boiled peach juice
12. Papaya juice (best avoided during summers)
13. Banana juice (raw)
14. Lychee juice (raw)
15. Mango juice (raw)
Make sure to always begin with boiled veggies. When the child is comfortable with the new food, you can introduce combinations such as carrot and apple, apple and banana, etc. Orange juice for babies and grape juice for babies are rich in vitamin C which will safeguard them from cold.
Can You Give Homemade Juice to Babies?
There is some debate over what experts have to say. Organisations like the American Academy of Paediatrics do not recommend homemade juice due to lack of pasteurization. However, the National Guideline on Infant and Young Child Feeding (INDIA) recommends boiled homemade food and juices. This may be due to lack of a practice of eating packaged foods.
Can You Use the Juice From Fruits That Have Been Steamed (or) Boiled for Fruit Purees?
Though some nutrients are destroyed while boiling, there is no hard and fast rule that disallows its use. In fact, juice concentrates can be made through boiling.
Uses of juice from steaming/boiling fruits include:
Your child need not consume juices that have preservatives in them.
These juices can be stored for long periods of time.
Some juices, such as tomatoes, become even more nutritious after boiling.
Homemade concentrates that are made by boiling, are cheaper than the store variety.
Edge Over Packaged Juices
The fruits and vegetables that are the ripest have the most nutrients. As you can choose which ones you want to boil, you can ensure that your juice is more nutritious compared to the packaged versions.
Can Fruit Juice Cause Dental Problem in Babies?
Yes. An excessive feed of fruit juice can lead to dental problems in infants. This is due to the natural sugar content in them. Perhaps following the juice by sips of water is a good idea.
Can Fruit Juice Cause Any Other Harm to Your Baby?
- If the baby is fed large amounts of fruit juice without much solid food intake, milk or water; it will lead to undernourishment. Undernourishment during the first year of birth will affect the child’s cognitive skills, and mind and body development.
- Excessive fruit juice has large amounts of sugar and calories, which may result in excessive weight gain.
- Juices can lead to diarrhoea as they are devoid of the fibre element that is present in fruits and vegetables.
Juices nourish the soul. Once your baby hits the 6-month mark, let her get a taste of some extra flavour. Fruit and vegetables juices are nutritious and help the baby develop a taste for healthy food options at an early age.
Resources and References: Kids Health