A new mom asked me if she could start giving her 6 month old baby apple juice and other vegetable juices. If yes , should it be boiled/skewed/raw juice etc. I thoroughly understood what she goes through on what to and how to. This post could be an answer to all your queries related to introduction of juices to 6 months+ baby.
1. When can I start giving juices (fruit/vegetable) to my baby?
Baby should be purely breastfed/formula fed till she is 6 months old.
Water is not necessary for an exclusively breastfed baby as breast milk contains even water required to keep the baby well hydrated. But formula fed babies could be given boiled cooled water as the residue of formula could be there in the baby’s mouth.
In the 6th month , you can start off with diluted vegetable and fruit juices in addition to breast milk or formula.
2. Why diluted juices? Cant’ I give the juices extracted out of fruits/veggies?
Diluted juices helps in easier digestion and the baby’s body easily accepts diluted juices thereby helping in the absorption of iron from the food provided.
3. What should be the ratio of dilution of juices?
Initially you can start off with 75% water and 25% juice to the baby. After a week or so, you can take equal amounts of juice and water.
4. When should be the fruit/vegetable juices be given as my baby has started on solids?
Fruit/Vegetable juices should be given during the meal times especially during lunch time. This aids in the quick absorption of iron in the food consumed by the baby .
5. Should I add sugar to the fruit juices?
NO. Sugar/jaggery or any other flavoring agents should not be added. Exposure of sugar to the baby at 6 months of age could lead to dental caries.
6. Should I give boiled/skewed/raw apple juice to my 6 months+ baby?
Yes only boiled /skewed juice should be given to a 6 month old baby as fruits like apples and pears could be exposed to pesticides and wax to increase the lusture and saleability. Peeling them and boiling helps in removal of all such toxic chemicals.
7. How to prepare skewed apple juice for my baby?
Wash and peel fresh apples. Deseed and steam them for about 5-6 minutes Puree in a blender and sieve to get the clear apple juice.
8. When can I give raw juices to baby (ie w/o boiling/skewing)?
Raw juices could be introduced once baby is used to the juice intake without any allergies or rashes.
Fruits like grapes, cherries, plums etc should be thoroughly washed and rinsed before usage. Fruits like watermelon, musk melon and vegetables like carrots, beetroots can also be juiced.
9. What is the time/period within which freshly home made juices be consumed?
Fresh fruit/vegetable juices should be consumed within 15-20 minutes of preparation in order to keep bacteria growth at bay. Discard any remaining and refrain from storing it. Make sure to prepare fresh batch as and when required.
10. What is the quantity of juice required by a 6 month old baby?
A quantity of 120 ml of fruit/vegetable juice is advisable by the doctors.
11. What if I feed my baby on juices majorly in a day?
High intakes of juice can contribute to diarrhea, over nutrition or under nutrition and development of dental caries.
12. Can I give canned /packaged /tinned fruit juices to baby?
NO. Canned /tinned /packaged fruit/vegetable juices can contain preservatives, added color, flavor and high sugar content leading to dental erosion in babies. Aerated drinks for baby like cola/soda is NOT advisable.
13. How can I give juices to my baby, in a bottle, cup, glass or sipper?
Juices should be fed to the baby only in a cup and NOT in a feeding bottle. Infants should not be put to bed with a bottle in their mouth. Never allow your baby or toddler to drink from a sippy cup of juice throughout the day.
Hope you liked this article on juices for infants. Share with me in comments when did you start juices for your baby.