Feb 27, 2009

When Should Your Baby Start Drinking Juice?

Many moms like to think that as soon as their baby
turns 6 months of age, they should start giving
them juice. But this couldn't be further from the
truth. In fact, juice is not necessary for an infant.

Here's why:
  • Because of the sugars in juice, it can cause diarrhea.
  • Too much juice can cause a child to be overweight or obese.
  • Juice contains sugars and acids that can cause tooth decay.
  • Giving your baby too much juice can hinder growth and development, and can cause malnutrition and anemia due to lack of nutrients like proteins and complex carbohydrates.
  • If you are still breastfeeding, juice can cause your baby to nurse less.

Although juice contains Vitamin C and other nutrients, you don't want to give them too much. It should never be considered a supplement. If you must give your baby juice, consider these guidelines.
  • Choose juices that are 100% juice and not fruit medleys or cocktails. Check the nutritional labels to make sure.
  • Wait until your baby is at least 6 months old. But even then, babies at this age still do not require it.
  • Dilute juice by at least half and half with water. Most grocery stores have a baby aisle with juice specially diluted for babies. These juices also contain more Vitamin C than regular juices, but are also more expensive.
  • Never give your baby juice from a bottle. And never give them juice from a cup to suck on all day. This can cause tooth decay.
  • Don't give your baby juice at bedtime.
  • Babies shouldn't have more than 150ml (one half cup) of juice a day.
  • Instead of giving fruits in liquid form, try giving them real fruit!
  • If your baby is thirsty, give them water instead. If your baby doesn't like water, try flavoring the water with a little bit of juice.
  • If you start feeding your baby water from the beginning, they won't naturally prefer juice instead of water.

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