Breast and formula milk will nourish your baby till the first six months of her life, and meet all her nutrition needs. After six months, when your baby starts solids, you can introduce her to pureed fruits and vegetables. If you prefer, fruit and vegetable juices can also be included in your baby’s diet. However, fruit juice should be offered to a baby prudently, as it can affect the intake of milk, the vital need of your baby.
Fruits are a good source of vitamins and other nutrients which growing baby needs. It is good to add some variety of fruits to baby’s diet. However, babies less than six months old do not need anything other than breast milk or formula. Older babies can be given fruits and vegetables in pureed form as well as like juices. Offer your baby a variety of textures and flavors, so as to embark her on a journey of taste.
If your baby is over the age of 6 months, you can offer your baby a beaker or a cup of fruit juice. If the baby is younger than 6 months, you must consult the pediatrician before offering fruit juice to her.
Though home made juice cannot be 100% pasteurized, and the likelihood of pathogens is there, make sure you follow optimum hygiene routines if you are making fruit juice for your little one. Ensure that the fruit is fresh, cleaned, washed and is not overripe. The processor or blender used should also be clean, preferably the blades be boiled. If the fruit has seeds (like melon) deseed the fruit first before making the juice.
Adding salt, sugar or chat masala may not be good for baby’s digestive system so let her enjoy the natural taste of fruit juice. Fruit squashes should not be offered to the babies due to its sweetener content. Always taste the food (juice, fruit or anything) before you give it to the baby.
If you want to give juices to your baby, follow the given safety measures:
Fruit juices do contain sugar, which needs to be controlled as exposure to sugar can cause dental problems in your baby. Undernourishment can also happen as babies tend to like sweet taste of juice and refuse to have other foods. Sugars in juice can also result in obesity in children from a very young age. Since fruits are generally considered healthy, parents tend to ignore the harmful effects of fruit juice sugars. Fruit juice should never be given to a baby in a bottle at nap-times as this can result in dental decay. Always wipe your baby’s gums, teeth with a soft washcloth after giving her fruit juice.
Giving too much of juices to baby may harm her/him in the following ways:
At first, you can try feeding your baby by steaming the fruits so as to get rid of pesticides. Once your baby is used to the taste and does not show any reaction or allergies, you can go for raw fruit juices straight from the blender.