When you have a baby, every day seems full of “firsts”. My daughter is now beginning to explore the fun world of solid foods and we have decided to let her try some juice. I automatically assumed apple juice would be the best option to let her try, until I read an article about Mott’s For Tots apple juice. This is recommended to be the perfect baby’s first juice for your little one due to it being 40% less sugar than 100% apple juice. You may think – why not add some water to dilute regular apple juice? Well, watering down juice dilutes essential nutrients. Mott’s for Tots combines 100% real fruit juice with purified water adding essential vitamins A, C and E.
It’s best to wait until after a baby is 6 months old before offering juice. But even then, pediatricians don’t recommend giving babies juice often. That’s because it adds extra calories without the balanced nutrition in formula and breast milk. Drinking too much juice also may lead to excess weight and tooth decay, or cause diarrhea in infants and toddlers.
Instead of juice, serve puréed whole fruits and vegetables. They have important nutrients not found in juice. If your baby seems thirsty, offer a little bit of water between feedings.
If you give your baby juice, follow these tips:
- Serve only 100% fruit juice, not juice drinks or powdered drink mixes (which are sweetened).
- Limit the juice to no more than 2–4 fl. oz. (60–120 ml.) per day.
- Offer juice in a cup, not in a bottle.
- Serve juice only at meal times.
How much fruit juice can kids have?
When serving fruit juice to children, experts now recommend the following:
- 1 to 3 year olds: No more than 4 ounces a day (that’s a little more than half of a standard-sized juice box).
- 4 to 5 year olds: No more than 4 to 6 ounces a day.
Here are some tips when offering juice:
- Stick with 100 percent fruit juice. Check the nutrition label to confirm that a sipper contains only fruit juices and is free of added sweeteners. Steer clear of juice drinks made with just a small percentage of fruit juice — including ones enriched with vitamins.
- Only offer pasteurized juice. Non-pasteurized or raw fruit juices can contain harmful bacteria that could make your child sick.
- Don’t let your tot walk around with her juice cup or box, and don’t offer juice at bedtime. Sipping small amounts for long periods keeps your cutie’s teeth coated in sugar, which can up the risk for tooth decay. Instead, offer juice as part of a meal or snack and remove the cup when she’s finished eating.
- Dilute juice with water. Offering half juice/half water is an easy way to keep your toddler’s juice consumption in check and prevent her from getting used to ultra sweet flavors. If already prefers undiluted juice, gradually up the amount of water you add in to give her time to adjust to the reduced sweetness.
- Mix it up. Toddlers tend to love apple juice, but too much can be tough on her tummy and potentially trigger diarrhea. Try exposing her to different flavors like orange, papaya, pineapple or white grape.
Here are some awesome first cups for your baby: