For the first six months, your baby only needs breast milk or formula milk as the main source of nutrition. After six months, you can introduce diluted fruit juices and vegetable juices to her diet. One of the most popular fruit juice option is Apple Juice. But is it safe to give Apple Juice to babies? We know that apple juice contains vitamin C, but it provides no nutritional benefit for babies under 6 months. Babies over 6 months can have limited amount of apple juice. But keep in mind to assess the nutritional needs and growth of your baby before you offer her apple juice.
apple juice

  • Reasons Why Apple Juice Might Not Be A Good Idea For Your Baby
  • Tips For Giving Apple Juice To Your Baby

Reasons Why Apple Juice Might Not Be A Good Idea For Your Baby

Whether apple juice is “unsafe” for your child is still debatable as there are contradicting views on this question. However, introducing juices, including apple juice, might not really be a great idea for your babies. There are some reasons why:

    • Babies below six months do not need juice: Infants younger than six months should ideally be on a breastfeed or infant formula diet. All the nutrition the child requires can be obtained from either of these two sources. So nutritionally, there is no need to give apple juice to your child. The only exception to this rule is if your child is constipated, it is alright to give him/her a small amount of prune juice to help motion
    • Babies having apple juice have less breast milk: It is not just about what they are taking in, it is also about what they are not taking in. If you give your baby apple juice, he will take in less breast milk than usual because he is full. This is not advisable because breast milk is the most important source of nutrients and energy at this age. And anything that interferes with breastfeeding should be avoided
    • Babies having too much juice are at a risk of tooth decay: There is a high concentration of sugar in juices, especially store bought one. And if your baby is having apple juice from his bottle, then the chances of the sugar lingering in his mouth, thereby causing tooth decay is very high. Make sure not introduce juice to the baby until the baby is able to use a sippy cup or a normal glass
    • Babies introduced with juice early on have a higher risk of diabetes: Research has indicated that due to its high sugar content juices increase the probability of diabetes later in life
    • Babies on a juice diet are at a risk of being obese: Research also indicates that children who drink as low as 300 ml of juices daily are 60 percent more likely to be obese later on. Even in babies, juices can lead to excessive weight gain and even diaper rash
    • Babies are more prone to diarrhea: Babies who drink a lot of juices, especially apple juices are known to have loose bowel movements and diarrhea

  • Juices are known to have unsafe content: Many parents reach out for store bought canned juices for their kids. Now a few years ago such juices came in the light of controversy when a popular medical TV host claimed that canned juices contain high levels of arsenic. Most government-funded administrations came forward to rubbish this claim, by claiming that the arsenic found in canned juices is “within permissible levels” and “harmless and inorganic in nature”. However, later studies indicated that the original claim was indeed true and the arsenic found in some juices are carcinogenic in nature. The verdict is still out on this one, but we think this is good enough reason to stay away from store bought juices (not to mention their high sugar content)

Tips For Giving Apple Juice To Your Baby

Here is what you need to do if you are considering giving your baby apple juice:

  • If your baby is below six months of age, do not give him/her apple juice. In fact, it might not be a good idea to start juices until the baby is one year old
  • For older babies, always opt for the fresh fruit as opposed to juices. Fruits contain more fiber, lesser sugar and fewer calories – and have the same taste as juices
  • If you have to give juice, dilute it, preferably to the extent of making it like a flavored water. If your child is new to juices, this dilution will make no difference to him. But if your child is already used to the sugary juices, you might want to gradually wean him off by diluting his juice little by little
  • Never give juices to a smaller child in his bottle as this increases the chance of tooth decay
  • If you have no choice but to opt for store bought juices, then always buy brands that offer 100% juice with no added sugar

If you plan to give fruit juice to your child, make sure that you make it a part of their meal or snack. Don’t make it a habit for your child to sip the juice throughout the day or don’t use it as a way to pacify your unhappy infant or child. Consuming apple juice has no dietary value over eating fruits. So, encourage your Infants to eat whole fruits that are mashed or pureed.
Good luck!