Should I start my baby on juice and baby food?

Bethani - posted on 12/16/2012 ( 25 moms have responded )

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I talked to my son's dr about possibly starting him on baby food. He has had cereal since 2.5 months because he wasnt keeping his formula down. And I've been feeding him 3 Tbsp of cereal from a spoon a day as well for the last couple weeks, and he is doing great! I have been told to start him out on vegetables because if he starts out on fruit he will just want the sweet food all the time, and won't eat his vegetables. The nurse that I spoke to said that being 5 months I should start him on juice, and wait until next month to start him on the vegetables. Any opinions or advice?

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Alexis - posted on 01/31/2013

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Wow, I'm surprised to see so many moms so against juice. I don't give my infant a whole bottle of juice, but I have introduced both of my boys to flavors and solids pretty early. They were eating cereal with milk and/or formula by 3 months, self-feeding soft solids by 6 months, and all flavors and textures in between. I have added a few spoons of baby food or a splash of juice and water to their bottles or their bowl of cereal. It helps them to ease into the flavors and textures. I wouldn't recommend letting your son have a bottle of juice at his disposal all day, but some new flavors every few days (or every day, I'm not shy about food with my kids) probably won't hurt them. Its just like adults with fast food...of course its not great if that's all you eat, but anything in moderation won't be terribly harmful. Parents and doctors will tell you lots of different opinions. I always water down the juice my toddler drinks. Its okay to experiment with some foods, unless there is a severe allergy, trying new things won't do him harm. You know better than anyone else what is okay for your baby. Try new things. It won't hurt. A little juice a few times a week won't rot his teeth or turn him diabetic for sure. Go for 100% juice, check all the ingredients, try to stay as natural and pure as possible. If you have a juicer, that would be ideal for nutritional value. If you're worried about sugar content, you can water it down, a hint of flavor is all they need to get interested.
My kids were never picky about flavors and new foods. They were always interested and excited. I started with fruits and veggies, just a few spoons in the bottle or in the cereal to get them used to the flavor, then I feed them at my discretion. They love steamed carrots and squash...light, sweet flavor without needing to sweeten or season. Start slowly so he's not overwhelmed by a strong flavor. If he doesn't tolerate/keep it down, you might want to look into potential food allergies (my sons both have severe food and environmental allergies)...my kids' diet is limited but quite flavorful and enjoyable (I have a 2 year old and a 7 month old). Good luck and don't worry too much!

Jennifer - posted on 01/21/2013

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I would NEVER give any child (or adult for that matter) juice from concentrate! Its horrible for you! I get vegetables and fruit and use my juicer and make our own juice WAY better. It only takes me about 20 min to make enough juice for a day and wash the juicer...not that much time and i know its actually healthy for my kids. My 16 month old daughter drinks spinach, kale, celery, green apple, and garlic juice all the time and she never gets sick. My 2 and a half year old son is being harder to get to drink some of the juices cause i didn't know about how bad from concentrate juice is for you when he was born :( But he will drink apple juice, orange juice, pineapple juice that i make and i am starting to get him to drink the others now as long as they are plain like just carrot juice or just spinach juice...he is coming around my husband and i also drink it. Only things we drink are our home made juices, water, and medicinal teas. I love not having to deal with sick kids! They used to get sick ALL the time ever since we have been doing this, they don't get sick anymore and my husbands sinus infections that he got once a month for a week at a time are completely gone too!

Amy - posted on 12/17/2012

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Do not give him juice! My second bit of advice is at your sons next check-up let the ddoctor know the horrible advice the nurse is giving. A 5 month old should not be given juice, I would actually put off introducing juice till as long as possible but would definitely not do it before a year. I also wouldn't introduce anymore solids at this point at 5 months he's getting plenty since solids before one are just for fun.

Sara - posted on 01/31/2013

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What?! Juice, avoid. My daughter didn't have juice till she was almost a year, and I felt like I should introduce it because at some point in time she will come across it. She has had maybe 4 cups of juice in all of her two years. She loves water and drinks milk. There is no need EVER for juice in their diet.

As for fruit and vegetables you can start on fruit and it will not ruin them for life. It takes a child up to 14 times before they try and like certain foods. Be consistent as baby gets older and introduce foods repeatedly. My daughter didn't eat peas until the 10th time I placed it on her plate. She adores all fruit and thats usually her desert. But She still loves vegetables too. People usually give up after 2-3 times of trying a new food thinking they are wasting their time. It is normal for toddlers to actually be frightened of new foods so never force it. But that's a bridge you can cross when you get there.

As for right now, I beg of you not to give juice. Baby doesn't even need water right now. Formula/breastmilk is enough. (And in your case Cereal)

Bobbi Jean - posted on 01/18/2013

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Fruit juice is like giving a child straight soda. Think of dissolving three cups of sugar in a gallon of water and letting your baby drink it. : (

Other good vegetables to start your little one on are green beans or carrots. Some babies really like spinach--mine did. I did the homemade babyfood thing (about 30+ years ago). Here is an up to date resource if you are interested in this. http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.co...

I found it to be easier and money friendly even back then. The best part was I knew what went into my babies.

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Latisha - posted on 04/18/2014

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ive had different doctors tell me different things. I do not believe anything anyone says. even the doctors! every child is different! if your considering adding new solids or juice, test them out in small amounts and you be the judge!! as always despite what most people think MOM KNOWS BEST!!!

Christina - posted on 03/08/2013

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I don't know what kind of nurse told you that! Baby's should not have any solid food until 4-6 months, and NO juice until at least 6 months and then it should be watered down and only in a sippy cup! And I mean majorly watered down, at 6 months it's only to let them practice with a sippy cup!

Catherine - posted on 03/02/2013

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Don't waste your money on overpriced baby juice LOL. It is the same as fresh squeezed (without the pulp) but pulp is good for them. If it is a choking hazard I'd say that type of juice is not ready for the child's diet.
2, 5 months to start solids is not good for any baby. Anyone who suggested that needs to learn about babies guts.
http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-s...

You've been given some good advice by real mom's with real babies. Plus the internet is filled with up to date advice plus our own mothering instincts.
Many dietitians are saying starting meats first is okay and supplies the iron babies need around 6-8 months.

Justine - posted on 03/01/2013

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What is wrong with your nurse?!! Lol do not give him juice! Do a little research, and talk to your doctor. Your baby is just fine on milk and cereal for quite a while.

Mel - posted on 02/28/2013

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My children are 13 and 11 and still prefer water to juice. I didn't let them have juice until after two years old, and even then it was only at a kids birthday party or xmas for a treat! We just simply did not have it in the house. There are plenty of ways to expose your child to new flavours and textures without giving them sugar, which will increase the risk of diabetes, obesity and rotten teeth. Kids love water and milk...stick to what is good for them. It is our responsibility as parents to teach our children about good nutrition and healthy living...I believe this starts from birth :)

Nicole - posted on 02/23/2013

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Juice is not healthy. They take out the fiber in processing and what you are basically left with is sugar water. I would start out with veggies and fruit. Also look into baby led weaning. We did a modified version.

Ericka - posted on 02/22/2013

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@Bethani - if your baby doesn't like juice and water, why are you still giving it to him? Juice is mainly sugar because all the good part of the fruit is discarded. Just water and milk are sufficient. Be careful when yoyr baby is sucking on apples and cucumbers, he can choke. I used to grate an apple, my son loved it. It's like apple sauce. Try sweet potatoes, peppers without skin, avocado, and squash. Try to puree your own veggies.

@Jennifer Anderson - what is the brand and model of your juicer?

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Ana - posted on 02/07/2013

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I put my daughter on a bit of cereal at 2.5mths old. It helped her to sleep at night (night time feedings only), some kids will start earlier than others.. I think she was 4 to 5mths old before I gave her "first foods."

Bethani - posted on 02/07/2013

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I have heard a lot about juicers on this site. I'll have to look into it. For the record, I let my son have about 3 oz of 1/2 juice 1/2 water a week. he doesn't really like it though. Most of the time, i just give him some water in his sippy cup. And he loves it. He has been eating baby food for a little over a month now, and has been doing really well. He has also tried some grown up foods, i let him suck on apple slices, cucumbers, and he tried a pickle last night (which he loved), and all of that he has handled very well. Next is Bananas. Thank you all for your advice. I appreciate it! To hear different opinions has helped me a lot. And also taught me to not worry so much. Every parent is different, as is every child, and a lot of this is as much of a learning experience for me as it is for him.

Lisa - posted on 01/31/2013

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even the 100% is full of sugar. the reason why I am against is as a mother and physician is because of the sugar content, starting it so early in a child. THey tend to just gravitate to the sweeter things. It increases the risk of childhood obesity which in turn increases risk of obesity in adulthood as well as diabetes.

Bethani - posted on 01/13/2013

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Thank you! I decided to start him on veggies. He really likes peas. :) I bought some baby juice for him to try. He doesn't like it at all. I think I tend to overthing a little, rather that just following my instincts.

Lisa - posted on 01/11/2013

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agree. Juice is bad. It is unfortunate that some nurses and even WIC would recommend juice. but it increases the risk of childhood obesity and diabetes in the future as they get older. All it is is sugar water!! Introduce new foods slowly, giving 5-7 days in between in case they have an allergy to a food, you know what it was from. No cow's milk until 1yo. No eggs till about 5-6 months. no water until on regular food

Kirsty - posted on 01/09/2013

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ive gotta say...my son is weaning...i feed him his baby food THEN give him finger food and hell eat how much he wants whilst also learning to feed himself. i very rarely give him chunks of fruit as he has it at dinner as his actual food, whether it be blended banana, pear, apple, pineapple etc....but at tea time is when he wil eat his baby food followed by finger veg! that way hes getting a bit of both! as for juice....my son is 8 month sold and will not drink it he doesnt like it, just spits it out, but hes always been the same also with water, so i still let him have his milk. your baby knows what they do and do not want, and you as a mother know them better than anybody else, so ust go with the flow. xx

Kirsty - posted on 01/09/2013

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ive gotta say...my son is weaning...i feed him his baby food THEN give him finger food and hell eat how much he wants whilst also learning to feed himself. i very rarely give him chunks of fruit as he has it at dinner as his actual food, whether it be blended banana, pear, apple, pineapple etc....but at tea time is when he wil eat his baby food followed by finger veg! that way hes getting a bit of both! as for juice....my son is 8 month sold and will not drink it he doesnt like it, just spits it out, but hes always been the same also with water, so i still let him have his milk. your baby knows what they do and do not want, and you as a mother know them better than anybody else, so ust go with the flow. xx

Kirsty - posted on 01/09/2013

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ive gotta say...my son is weaning...i feed him his baby food THEN give him finger food and hell eat how much he wants whilst also learning to feed himself. i very rarely give him chunks of fruit as he has it at dinner as his actual food, whether it be blended banana, pear, apple, pineapple etc....but at tea time is when he wil eat his baby food followed by finger veg! that way hes getting a bit of both! as for juice....my son is 8 month sold and will not drink it he doesnt like it, just spits it out, but hes always been the same also with water, so i still let him have his milk. your baby knows what they do and do not want, and you as a mother know them better than anybody else, so ust go with the flow. xx

Bethani - posted on 12/17/2012

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***I meant to say in my original post that I've been using cereal mixed with his formula***
by instruction from his doc

Bethani - posted on 12/17/2012

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Okay! I wasnt planning on replacing formula. Just wondering how and when to introduce other foods as well. Thank you for your help. :)

Amy - posted on 12/17/2012

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Yea you can introduce solids at 6 months but they are supplemental to formula or breastmilk and should never be used to replace a bottle.

Bethani - posted on 12/17/2012

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So, I should just stick with formula and rice cereal until he is a year? I thought that at 6 months you were supposed to start introducing baby food?

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