Babies are the most precious little things for their parents. During the initial phases of their lives, it is important to make sure that they get all their nutrients so that they can grow up to be healthy and strong. As they grow older, it is also important to change their diets constantly to accommodate greater requirements. Juice is a widely accepted food that is given to babies. However, is apple juice safe for babies? Should you be giving apple juice to a newborn? Read our article to find out more about this.
When Can Babies Have Apple Juice?
You might think that juice is an easy liquid which can be given to and wonder, “what age can babies have apple juice?”. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that the ideal age to start giving your baby apple juice is at 1 year old. Introducing Apple juice to babies must be done slowly in order to get them used to it. Due to the sugar content, giving a 6-month-old apple juice is believed to lead to different kinds of ailments and issues.
How Can Apple Juice Help Constipated Infants?
Having said that, there are also benefits of apple juice, which include being good for a baby’s bowels. Often times, you might find that your baby feels constipated. Infant constipation can be cured with apple juice.
- Apple juice helps constipation because of the sugars and liquids that act as a natural laxative.
- 1-2 ounces of apple juice for a baby can usually get rid of constipation and help ease the passage of stool.
Make sure to give the right amount of recommended apple juice for babies as per AAP so that they do not end up consuming too much sugar.
Risks of Giving Apple Juice to Babies
Giving your baby apple juice comes with its own set of risks. We have listed them here just so that you are aware of them.
- Babies under the ages of 6 months do not require apple juice. Try to stick to breastmilk and natural foods.
- Consuming too much apple juice can lead to tooth decay due to the sugar content.
- Babies that are introduced to apple juice at a young age are more prone to the risk of diabetes.
- Babies that are on a juice diet are also prone to becoming obese.
- Due to the sugar content, babies also tend to get diarrhoea due to apple juice.
Things to Remember While Giving Apple Juice to Your Baby
Having understood the risks involved, here are some tips that you can follow while feeding your baby apple juice.
1. Age of the Baby
Make sure that you are not giving your baby apple juice in case they are less than 6 months old. Babies should ideally be on a diet of breastmilk or formula because all the nutrition that a baby needs can be received through these two sources. Therefore, from a nutritional standpoint, there is nothing extra that your baby can get from apple juice.
2. Fresh Fruit
As much as you can, try to give your baby juices from natural sources. Natural sugars are a lot better than added sugars. Fruits also contain more fibre and nutrients which are beneficial for your baby. Added sugars can have different, long-term ill effects on your baby.
3. Diluting the Juice
If you are trying to introduce apple juice to your baby, make sure to add a little bit to water so as to introduce him slowly to it. To your baby, it will not make a difference as it will taste like sweet water. However, if you find that your baby is hooked to the sugar in the apple juice, try to wean him from it for their own benefit.
4. No Added Sugar
In case you find yourself in a situation where you are forced to buy apple juice from a store, search and buy ones that have no added sugars. Sucrose and fructose are inherently not good for the human body.
5. Bottled Juice is a Big No-No
If it crosses your mind to give your baby juice from the bottle, make sure you absolutely refrain from doing so as it increases the chances of tooth decay. If you must, try feeding it with a small spoon.
How to Make Apple Juice for Babies
An apple a day might definitely keep the doctor away, but as long as it is the fresh fruit that we are talking about. In case you really want to feed your child apple juice, you might as well make it at home since the recipe is very easy. Read on to find out about apple juice recipe for babies, toddlers and kids.
- 2 apples
- 1 tablespoon of palm sugar (if needed)
- 2 tablespoons of apple sauce
- 1 cup of water
- Choose two red apples and, if they are sweet enough, you probably do not even need the palm sugar. Make sure to not use any white sugar because it is not good for babies.
- Peel the skin off the apples and wash them thoroughly under running water, multiple times. Peeling will ensure that the wax and pesticides have been removed from the fruit.
- Use a knife and cut the apples into small 1-inch pieces after removing and discarding the core and seeds.
- Add the apples immediately to a pan and just about submerge them in water. At this point, you can choose to add sugar.
- Cook for 5 minutes on a low flame so that they turn soft.
- Set them aside and allow them to cool. Once cooled, transfer them to a mixer along with the water.
- Blend the mixture well so that it turns into a smooth paste. Keep a new, cleaned jar ready to transfer the sauce.
- Your apple sauce is ready and you can store this in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.
- For the apple juice, add two tablespoons of apple sauce to a bowl and add a cup of warm water.
- Mix well, and the apple juice is ready!
- You can feed this juice to your baby with a sterile spoon.
- Make sure to use only fresh apples and peel them.
- There is no need to use added sugar if the apples are sweet enough.
- Do not give your baby white sugar due to the chemicals present in it.
- The apple sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
- Always use warm or boiled water to make the juice so that the water is clean for your baby.
- Make sure to introduce the juice slowly to your baby, starting.
Babies are very precious creatures and sometimes it can be a steep learning curve for parents to find out the dos and donts. Don’t feel inept, it is only normal to figure out their requirements as and when they come up. With respect to apple juice, anything in moderate quantities should not do any harm to your baby. Make sure you start with applesauce and move on to juice. Try to stick to natural flavours without additives because of the ill-effects of preservatives and sugars. We hope our article has helped you understand the pros and cons of apple juice and also the amount that you should be giving your baby.