When Can A Parent Give Their Baby Juice?

FAQ

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Perhaps the question here should not be when you should start giving your baby juice, but rather if you should give it to them at all. This may seem like a ludicrous question at first. But, why would you want to give your baby juice? Is it because you think it is healthy?

This isn’t to say that juice is unhealthy. But, before you head off to the shop to load up on apple juice, let the first talk about what juice is. What is in it and perhaps why none of us should be drinking it at all.

The Big Debate On Fruit Juice

We have been told since we were children that we need to be consuming five fruits and vegetables a day. Our parents and the doctors all said to us that we need to do this because it is healthy. Fruits and vegetables are all loaded up with vitamins and minerals which work to keep the body functioning. If this is the case, then wouldn’t it be logical to assume that we can get the same benefits from just drinking a fluid that is made up of these products?
Furthermore, we would then be getting more of these benefits because you can drink more fruits and vegetables than we can eat. This kind of reasoning is all well and good, but there are a couple of pieces of the puzzle that are missing.

There Is A Lot Of Sugar In Fruit

Fruit is sweet is it not? It, therefore, must have quite a bit of sugar in it, correct? This is not the same type of sugar that you put into your coffee in the morning. It is instead a naturally occurring sugar that is arguably healthier for you, but it is sugar none the less. If you are looking at a bottle of fruit juice, it is not hard to see just how much sugar there would be in there merely considering the sheer amount of fruit that was used to make that juice.

This massive load of sugar, healthy or not naturally occurring or not, cannot possibly be wholly beneficial for a person. All of this is even just considering the natural sugar that comes with fruit.

What about the sugar that is added to the juice by the manufacturers? If you look closely on the ingredients label on a lot of fruit juices, you will see a couple of offensive terms that indicate that there has been sugar added to the drink. Now, think of what this sugar could wind up doing to your baby’s body.

Juice And Babies

Babies love juice; parents know this. They love it because it tastes sweet and that is all that matters to a young one. Juice is also incredibly convenient because it either comes in nifty little boxes or it can be tossed into a bottle and carried around throughout the day. But this juice is just not good for your baby.

The first thing that you need to worry about is their teeth. At around the 6-month mark, a baby’s teeth start popping up. These little new additions to their mouths are not altogether that strong, and they cannot withstand the assault of sugar that will come with that fruit juice.

Babies do not get cavities in the way that we understand them, but they do get something similar called caries. These are indeed not pleasant and could cause some significant complications with your baby’s health. Then there is the question of nutrition.

Baby’s Stomach A Big Concern

When you give your baby juice in their sippy cup, they will most likely gobble the whole thing up without even stopping to take a breath. They might think that they have just enjoyed a nutritious meal, but that is not the case. They will still need to eat whatever meal is required at that time of the day, but because of the juice, there is just no space. A baby will not eat if it is full. You can beg, you can plead. But what their stomach says, goes.

If you are giving your little one juice, then you could run the risk of making them too full to eat their proper food. If this trend persists, the baby could land up not getting enough nutrients to be healthy. An event that no parent ever wants to encounter, let alone bring about.

What If You Make The Juice At Home?

When it comes to the topic of health and nutrition, the general rule is that homemade is always better. That way you know exactly what is going into your food and as such, you can avoid any harmful or unnecessary additives. When it comes to juice, this may be true for adults, but the same cannot be said for babies. The problem that fresh fruits and vegetables pose to babies is that they may carry bacteria or other microscopic dangers.

These may be negligible to an adult body, but a baby’s immune system is not that strong. They cannot handle what an adult can, and they should not be drinking juice made from fresh produce at such a young age.

What Can You Give A Baby?

You may have reached the end of this and thought what on earth can you give your baby. It is left up to the discretion of each parent as to what they want to give their child, as long as some guidelines are adhered to.

If your baby is over the age of 6 months and it can hold a cup, then you can give it some juice. But not a lot and not often. Also, be warned that you could be dealing with some nasty diarrhea if you do land up giving your baby juice. While juice may not be unhealthy, remember that even too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.