Fruit Juice and Your Infant

Introducing your baby to food is an exciting time for both of you. Watching them form opinions and preferences about different types of foods is fascinating, and teaching them to enjoy new types of foods and flavors can be a lot of fun. As your child’s diet leans more heavily towards solids than milk, you’ll need to start supplementing other liquids into your child’s diet.

Why they need liquids besides milk

 

To put it really simply, if your child doesn’t get enough fluids in their diet, they’ll become constipated. To avoid a cranky and uncomfortable child, you need to make sure that they take sips of fluids throughout their meal to ensure that they’re able to digest everything well.

 

Why juice isn’t always a good idea

 

When we think of juice, we think about fruit and the fiber content that fruit has. While fruit is a pretty healthy snack option for your child, that’s mainly because of the fiber that the fruit has. When you make juice from the fruit, you lose all of the fiber and are left with liquid sugar. In fact, apple juice has up to 10 teaspoons of sugar in one serving, which is almost as much as a serving of coke. Grape juice has about 15 teaspoons. The citric acid in juice can also wear away at the fragile enamel on your child’s teeth.

 

Moderation in all things

 

Juice isn’t always a bad thing, and just because it contains sugar doesn’t mean that you need to ban it from your home. The issue isn’t really consuming juice, it’s consuming too much and not rinsing your baby’s mouth afterwards to rinse the residual sugar out. If your child loves juice, a great way to moderate their juice consumption is to limit their juice to just once a day, usually with a meal, rather than letting them sip from a sippy cup of juice all day long. It’s also a great idea to water down their juice, so they don’t get quite as much sugar, but they still get that great fruit flavor that they love! If you’re watering down their juice, two servings of juice a day is fine for your child. If you’re serving it plain, only one serving a day is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Watered down or not, it’s a great idea to have your child rinse their mouth with water shortly after their juice drink, to help protect the enamel on their teeth.

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