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When is fruit juice safe for my baby?

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Fruit juice may seem like a pleasant alternative to drinking milk all the time for infants. It tastes sweet and, more than likely, the baby will love it. However, is giving your infant fruit juice good or bad for the child?

The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) recommends that 100 percent fruit juice be used sparingly when it comes to infants. This is because fruit juice can be filling, but does not contain the nutrients a growing child needs. If juice begins to replace the milk content a baby eats, then you could experience malnutrition due to lack of necessary nutrients. Also, fruit juice is a calorie containing drink and could contribute to weight gain if consumed regularly.

Another side effect of too much juice is damage to baby’s teeth. The sugars in juice, over extended periods of time, are a huge cause of dental cavities in children. If you are offering your baby juice, it should be in a sippy cup and not in a bottle.

There is nothing wrong with offering your baby, who is over six months of age, 100 percent fruit juice in moderation. However, it should not become a part of your child’s regular daily diet.
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