What are the Precautions to be taken while giving juices to your baby?
It is best to give juice to your baby only after they are six months old. If your baby is not over six months it is important to consult a pediatrician, before you plan to introduce juice to your baby’s diet. Pediatricians, however, do not recommend giving juice to babies, because it only adds calories and fruit juices are usually loaded with sugar. Juices can be a source of nutrition; however, it is never a replacement for breast milk.
Furthermore, drinking too much juice can cause tooth decay, malnutrition, and unnecessary weight gain, because they would be missing out on carbohydrates and proteins.
Here are a few precautions; you should take while giving juices to your baby:
Limit the consumption of juice: If your baby drinks too much juice, it might interfere with their consumption of breast milk and solid foods. Your baby will lose appetite if they drink too much juice and the sugar content in the juice can lead to tooth decay. Introduce juice to your baby in small quantities like two spoons and limit juice intake of your baby to 3 to 4 ounces a day. Babies who consume more than the suggested amount of juice are at risk of becoming obese.
Give only diluted juices: You can dilute the juice with water (50% juice, 50% water) While fruit juices can be a good source of vitamins, but the natural sugar in it can cause your baby’s forming teeth to decay. Too much juice can also lead to your baby having loose stools or even diarrhea because juice does not contain any fiber-like actual fruits and vegetables. Thereby, diluting juice can keep away such health risks.
Give your baby 100% real juice: There is no way to ensure if homemade juice is completely pasteurized. Babies should only be given100% pasteurized juice because their immune system is not strong yet. When you make juice at home, irrespective of the hygiene standards you maintain, there is a high chance of pathogens being in the juice
Squashes, cordial, powder juice mixes and any kind of artificially flavored juices should be avoided because of their high sugar content and negligible nutrition value. Only give your baby 100% real juice.
Give your baby juice only at meal times: Give your baby juice only after meal times, so that it does not fill their stomach and your baby will not get habituated to drinking juice all the time. Juice should only be an addition to their meal, not a substitute. Avoid giving your baby juice before bedtime.
Give them juice in a sippy-cup: Instead of giving juice to your baby in a bottle, give them juice in a sippy cup. This will limit the quantity of juice, they consume and reduce the risk of tooth decay because of sugar in the juice.
Now that we know the precautions you need to take before introducing juices in your baby’s diet. It is vital to know, what kind of juices are healthy for them.
LIST OF HEALTHY JUICES FOR BABIES:
• Tender coconut Juice
• Water Melon Juice
• Tomato Juice
• Apple Juice
• Grape Juice
• Carrot Juice
• Mango Juice
• Raw Mango Juice
• Lemon Juice
• Orange Juice
• Muskmelon Juice
• Banana Juice
• Pear Juice
• Peach Juice
• Grapefruit Juice
It is always a good idea to choose juices with less sugar, and even if the sugar content is high it is important to dilute it with water before feeding it to your baby. Give your baby juices which are rich in vitamins and nutrients. Having juice helps your baby acquire a taste for different fruits and vegetables. As your baby gets older, you can replace juice with fruit and vegetable puree.
Babies get all the nourishment they need, from breast milk till the age of 1. Juices are not vital for the baby if you want to introduce an extra drink other than breast milk, it is better to stick with water. There is a chance that juice can replace breast milk and solid foods in which the baby needs to grow and develop, mentally and physically, thereby it is not wise to introduce juice to your baby too early.
Precautions you need to take while giving juices to your baby:
• Limit the consumption of juice
• Give only Diluted juices
• Give your baby 100% real juice
• Give your baby juice only at meal times