Fruit Juice for Infants

Jodi - posted on 04/13/2011 ( 118 moms have responded )

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There has been a conversation on the Welcome Page for some days now on giving a 7 month old some juice. Apparently the child won't take to it very well.



Anyway, some of the responses have been quite surprising (actually, I probably shouldn't be surprised), from trying juice with no sugar in it (um, fruit juice has sugar in it, duh), to watering it down, not watering it down, you don't really need it, and using ice lollies so that you can wean them onto the flavour..... (WTF??)



Anyway, personally, I am not a fan of giving sugary drinks, including juice, at such a young age. That's just me. I have no issue with someone who chooses something different.......but, I am honestly baffled by this view that they NEED to have it. I didn't realise it would be SUCH a debate!



So here I am. I thought I would bring it to this community of lovely intelligent women for a real debate :) What are YOUR views on juice for infants, and why?

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Jodi - posted on 04/16/2011

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I think the reason people say it is worse is probably because it is deemed to be healthy, whereas I don't think ANYONE is under the illusions that soda or pop are healthy in any way at all. So because juice is deemed to be healthy, people think it is okay to full their kids up with it. But the fact is 125ml is one serving of fruit for an ADULT. So the equivalent of one cup of juice is actually 2 servings of fruit. Adult servings of fruit. Concentrated fructose. Without the fibre. In fact, if you have a full cup of juice with your meal, you probably have half of your serving of recommended carbohydrates (or more) right there in front of you. I can think of much healthier carbohydrates you should be consuming during your meal.

Sure, it is okay as an occasional thing, but in all honesty, not even adults should be drinking it all the time, so kids definitely shouldn't.

Jenni - posted on 05/31/2011

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Ummm didn't I sign up to a "Debating" community?

Rose, I do agree with you somewhat.... I don't think a little juice every now and then is going to be damaging. I just don't agree with giving it before 12 months. This OT was originally started because of a woman forcing juice on her 6 month old who didn't want it or like it. And Debating Mums is a community where we can discuss our opinions on such topics as well as challenge each other's opinions on it.

Jenn - posted on 04/16/2011

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My kids didn't get any juice until they were over a year, and it's always 1/2 & 1/2 mixed with water. They get 1 maybe 2 drinks a day of it, (ususally only 2 if it's because Daddy doled it out), otherwise it's milk or water to drink. I see no need to give it to a baby (OK - so there's no NEED to give it to anyone), but I don't think it's the end of the world either, unless it is replacing a milk feed or being given in large quantities. As for "rotting your teeth" - so can lots of other things including milk (ummm - hello there 12g of sugar per cup) - but there's this little thing called brushing your teeth. Just sayin'. And Mel - I'm sorry - but perhaps the fact that you gave your tiny newborn juice and laxatives on the regular is the reason for the "constipation" issues you are having.

Krista - posted on 04/13/2011

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I'm not a fan of juice -- I'd rather he eat whole fruit. Mind you, if he's sick, all bets are off, and I'll gladly let him drink juice if it means getting fluids into him. But even then, I usually water it down. Mind you, my kid is 20 months old.

But for infants? No -- I don't think it's a good idea. Infants should only be drinking breastmilk or formula, IMHO.

Jodi - posted on 05/31/2011

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It's more likely that it is a goal to work towards, but definitely not needed by 6 months.

And yeah, my kids love their veggies too.....it's a good thing :)

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Rose - posted on 05/31/2011

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NO i don't force it on them i don't force anything on my kids if she asks me to have it i give it to her. No i don't think they need it but it doesn't hurt them to have it. My son only has about 1 watered down cup a day anyhow. Still not going to change my mind this is a dumb topic who cares its not your kids so why bother arguing about it no one is right and no one is wrong. We as mothers know what right for our kids!

Joanna - posted on 05/31/2011

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Yeah we just started at 6 months, now at 7 months she will still only eat 1/2 tub of baby purees (mostly fruit but will eat the carrots and sweet potatoes) twice a day. She refuses to eat more, and doesn't like eating in the morning.

Mel - posted on 05/31/2011

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I meant at 6 months sorry. It was either at 6 or 7 months mark where she told me how much meat, dairy, fruit , veg etc she needed. But yeah makes sense, I understand. Maybe that was because she had started her solids earlier? Or maybe it was around the 7 month mark she told me. Im realy unsure. Either way Im glad my kids love their veges :)

Jodi - posted on 05/31/2011

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Mel, you indicated in another thread that your health nurse only recommended you START solids at 6 months, so there is no way she would have been expecting Paige to be eating that much when she started. Make sense?

Jodi - posted on 05/31/2011

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Ooh, I missed that one. BY THE AGE OF 6 MONTHS? I don't think so. The recommendations are to START them at that age, not that they should be on that level of food BY that age. That's just crazy......

I think she should also note that no-one said they shouldn't get any fruit at all......

Mel - posted on 05/30/2011

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@ Joanna, I saw that and was glad someone else got told the same thing! SImilar anyhow Im pretty sure my child healthy nurse said 5 servings veges and 3 fruit but could be wrong, so I jam pack her with veges at lunch and dinner and fruit between meals and as desserts

Joanna - posted on 05/30/2011

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Wait, by the age of 6 months they're supposed to get 5 servings of fruit/veggies? Can you link me to that info? ;)

Jodi - posted on 05/30/2011

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So you would force your child to drink it? You think they NEED it? Because ultimately, that is what the OP was about.

Rose - posted on 05/30/2011

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my kids like water just as well sometimes they prefer it over juice and milk. Sugar in small amounts isn't bad for anyone. I really don't see what the fuss is about no one can change my mind about it!

Mel - posted on 05/30/2011

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Im sure Ive already posted on this. Juice is unnecessary crap really unless you're using it for constipation or another medical reason. MY child health nurse told us to use a small amount of juice to get my daughter used to the taste of water because she would spit all her water out, and she needed the extra water to help with constipation. Now shes 10 months and has been drinkng water fine for a long time, and no more constipation plus she had started eating solids at 4 months and wasn;t having enough fluids to even it out. Prune juice/applejuice/pear juice is recommended for constipation although it didn't work for my girls. We use jucie in this house when the kids are sick, or on occasions first thing in the morning with breakfast, and thats it. Water and milk are perfectly fine, why would you want to fill thier stomachs with crap? Just my opinion

[deleted account]

I'm like a lot of you. Chad and I don't drink juice, EVER, mainly because I don't like it, and Roxanne is limited to it and it's considered a treat.

Sarah - posted on 05/30/2011

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I don't see the NEED for juice. But, honestly, I think people are making too big a deal about giving it to kids IMO. I mean its just juice, not like its a freakin Monster or something. My daughter started drinking a small amount of watered down apple juice when she was six months old on the advice of my pediatrician because she was battling some constipation. Guess what, the poop came right out!! I have to say that if someone shook there head at my daughter drinking that small amount of juice in a bottle, I would just shake my head right back. If you don't wanna give your kid juice, then thats great, but I just don't see the big deal. Now at 20 months, my daughter drinks water, unsweetened iced tea, and is limited to 2 cups of 100% juice a day ( I still water it down ABOUT 1/3 juice and 2/3 water). I'm sorry, IMO I just don't get what all the fuss is about.

Bridgette - posted on 05/30/2011

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I had to do juice early (3 months) due to a constipation issue, but I am working him back off it since he started solids and dont plan to use it again until he is at least 1 (or later). Get so much more from eating the actual foods versus the juice, and having a child who drinks water when thirsty versus juice will be healthier and all those places they end up spilling it will be easier to clean up!

Isobel - posted on 05/30/2011

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My kids are big now...so I'll take 100% fruit juice over pop or koolaid any day.

Most of the time we drink water though.

Tara - posted on 05/30/2011

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true, but naturally occurring fruit sugars are different from artificially sweetened with refined cane sugar or corn syrup or worse high fructose corn syrup etc. etc.
So fruits eaten in their natural state or juiced from their natural state will not be digested the same way as fruit "juice" that has added can sugar. Thus leading to the imbalances etc.
I'm lucky all my kids love water.

Rose - posted on 05/30/2011

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I could see juice being a problem if that is all they drink all day everyday but i doubt anyone really does that. Brushing their teeth regularly should take care of the possible tooth decay. I agree fruit and veggies are better but their is natural sugars in fruit as well and in alot of other foods they eat kinda hard to avoid giving them sugar.

Tara - posted on 05/30/2011

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no it won't kill them, but it could lead to an imbalance of sugars in their digestive system leading to an increase incidence of problems with yeast. It can also lead to dental decay. Juice isn't necessary, it's not evil or fatal to give to kids, but the kind of juice given does have an impact on their overall health.
Too much sugary juice fills the stomach so otherwise healthier foods are not desired. As well there is enough sugar added to so many other things in their diet, that if possible giving 100% no sugar added just reduces the overall amount of refined sugar they consume.
Not really a big deal to some people, but to others, limiting the unnecessary consumption of empty calories in favour of whole calories or juice actually made from fruit is still a better choice.

Rose - posted on 05/30/2011

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I really don't see what the big deal is unless it makes your kids stomach hurt. I give my kids juice every day they are 1 and 3 I water down my 1 year olds but i just don't see what the big deal is. So what if it has sugar in it, its not like it going to kill them to have a little bit of sugar.

Tara - posted on 05/30/2011

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Roxanne, what kind of juice are you giving her? There is a HUGE difference in 100% not from concentrate cranberry juice for instance over frozen minute maid punch from concentrate.
If the juice has any added sugars your child is only getting a tummy full of extra empty calories and no nutritional value except maybe the added vitamin C.
Fresh fruits and veggies are the best way for a child to reap the benefits of the micronutrients, trace minerals and vitamins. And if they don't like them, you can always buy a juice extractor and make your own sugar free 100% pure juice. The benefits of fresh juicing are many.
But nah... frozen from concentrate isn't really juice, it may have some juice from some berries etc. but it's mostly sugar and water.

Roxanne - posted on 05/30/2011

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I give my 6 mo. 4 oz of juice a day, I brush her 2 teeth and gums with a baby tooth cleaner. My ped. said she is perfect to keep doing what I'm doing. And for those who say no fruit what are u thinking. For those of you who don't seem to realize it everything has sugar in it. including breastmilk. By the age of 6 months they are suppose to be getting 5 servings of fruit and veggies.

Mary Renee - posted on 04/20/2011

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My daughter (11 months) gets a sippy cup of diluted apple juice (2/3 water, 1/3 juice) a day. We live in Hawaii and it can be very hot and sunny. I nurse her, but I still don't want her to get dehydrated. She loves it, doesn't care that it's diluted, and it gives me an extra hour before I have to nurse her because otherwise she nurses every 2 hours (still)

This is just one subject I'm not going to stress over. I love juice. I don't drink it like it's water, but I'm not really a soda person, I'd much prefer juice. I'll drink it with a meal, but not more than two servings a day. Also I don't have a single cavity.

[deleted account]

I personally avoided juice until my daughter was 1. Before then, she would eat fruits and stuff and I thought the natural sugars in that would be enough. But now she is 2, she occasionally gets juice. I prefer the ones with the pulp in it, but I'd rather her have water, which she loves even more than juice (yay!) So yeah, I wouldn't recommend juice until they are a little older, and more as a special treat once in a while rather than every day. My daughter has no problem with water and I think that is healthier for her. And if your child rejects juice....really that is a good thing! Give them water instead! :D

[deleted account]

If a baby is constipated chamomile tea works great. It helps with pain, bloat, gas and movement....no need for juice.

Momof1 - posted on 04/18/2011

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I definitely do not agree with juice for infant, unless they are constipated. I do agree if you are going to give juice, it should be watered down. However, my son is 17 months and has never had juice barring the prune juice he had before he was a year for constipation and that was like 3 times.

As long as a child is eating enough fruits and veggies, there is no need for juice. My son drinks water and milk. If I want him to have a treat, I'll give him chocolate milk, which at least has nutritional value. He eats his fruits and veggies. I'd say if a toddler didn't eat right, then yes, 100% fruit and veggie juice, watered down, is the right way, but not exceeding the maximum daily allowance.

Ruth - posted on 04/18/2011

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Well my son is 2 years old now... but he never had juice until he was over one year old. And even to this day its not something he gets on a regular basis. However, I think kids are kids and deserve to be kids. But there is no NEED for a 7 month old to have any sort of sugary drink like juice.

Cyndel - posted on 04/18/2011

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I didn't give son juice until he had been weened for a few months so I say he was about 18 months before he got his first taste of juice. And it was 1 part juice to 3 parts water. when he was 2 I went 1/2 and 1/2. and even now at 3 1/2 I still water his juice down. Partly because he is still in pull ups at night time, nap time, and at church (he won't tell the teacher he has to go potty...too shy) and he gets a rash if I don't water his juice down. Literally I gave him a cup of strait juice in the morning and when he woke from his afternoon nap his bottom and the foreskin was red and painful.
Anyway I only gave him breastmilk and water (when he started solids at 6 1/2 months) until he was a year and a half...it was important to me for him to enjoy the taste of water, since his father gags at the taste because his family NEVER EVER drank water. I don't think juice is ever necessary. eating the fruit is much better. DS only gets juice at meal times

Cassie - posted on 04/18/2011

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I feel like more parents should just be using common sense with this one. Our ped said that we "could" (not should) give juice after our girls were 6 months but knowing what is in juice and what is needed for a baby's growth and development, we used common sense and said NO juice!

Krista - posted on 04/18/2011

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Holy shit, Christine -- is that for real??? I'm hoping that most parents saw through this bullshit and weren't giving their infants soda pop in order to "boost personality". (Yeah, I imagine it would boost a baby's personality -- the hyped-up little fart would probably be swinging from the chandeliers!)

Charlie - posted on 04/18/2011

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My childrens health nurse told us not to give juice at all as it was empty calories and high in sugar ( even when watered down ) it's funny the different reccomendations , I dont really like juice because it so sweet unless its like a fresh juice of mainly veggies like beetroot , carrot , celery , ginger and apple ...yum.

[deleted account]

Health nurse recommended giving my girls juice from 6mths.So for many they have been doing that since 6mths.

Candice - posted on 04/17/2011

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Fruit should be eaten! *captain obvious* Seven months is insanely young to be given juice. Lemme guess the person asking started rice cereal at a few weeks.Oi!

[deleted account]

My two girls hated juice.I only gave it to them as i was advised to.

I was given a shocked face by the health nurse.lol..when i told her they did not want juice.

They drank water.She was given me tips to try get them to take it(juice)..lmao.

They would now at 6 and 2 happily choose water over fizzy drinks or juice .I was the same as a kid.

I am glad the did not want them, i think its something the can go without until much older.Personally.:-)

Jodi - posted on 04/17/2011

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Oh, I agree that a smoothie, or fresh juice can be very healthy - my kids LOVE a good fruit smoothie as a treat, and it IS a good way to get the fruit intake up. But my kids are just as happy with a fruit platter, or eating fruit whole :)

I thinkj, however, when most people talk about giving their kids juice, however, they are probably talking about the stuff off the shelves. I don't see any harm in giving a toddler a little juice here and there - heck, I did. I just don't see the whole "my kid won't drink it, so how do I get him used to it" argument. That's just stupid to me. Especially for a 6 months old!!

Vegemite - posted on 04/17/2011

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You'd be surprised how many people come into work and say that they don't know what's wrong with their toddler's teeth. They're all brown and falling apart. Only to reveal that their child drinks soft drink, cordial, ribena, or juice. Letting kids sip on these all day is the worst way to let them have it. If they're going to have these drinks they should drink it all have some water and wait a while before cleaning their teeth.



Smoothies are great, my kids love fruit but if they didn't I would try sneaking some into their morning toddler formula. Home made juice is the best alternative when it comes to juice but I wouldn't recommend drinking that a lot either.



Juice is bad mmmmkay.....but a treat is fine.

Krista - posted on 04/17/2011

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I don't see anything wrong with smoothies for a child or toddler. Some whole fruit, some good yogurt...ain't nothing wrong with that!

[deleted account]

LOL Gabby drinks smoothies too...no sugar, no concentrated crap. They are super tasty and have probiotics in them. If you make a smoothie properly its super healthy.

[deleted account]

LOL Gabby drinks smoothies too...no sugar, no concentrated crap. They are super tasty and have probiotics in them. If you make a smoothie properly its super healthy.

[deleted account]

I agree with Jodi. Only thing. Juice can be healthy. I have a juicer so when i do drink juice, it has fiber, its not pasteurized so the nutrition is still there. I even mask some veggies in with my fruit juice sometimes. Still, even this juice although relatively healthy, should be used as a treat.

Becky - posted on 04/16/2011

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We avoided juice until they were a year old, except for maybe pear or prune juice once or twice for constipation. Now, they are allowed juice once a day, usually at breakfast. Although Cole guzzles his in about 2 minutes and Zach will take all days to drink his little 4 oz. sippy cup of it (which usually isn't even full!) He drinks some water, but other than breastmilk, really doesn't drink much. He downright refuses any other kind of milk! I find that if I let them have more juice than they are used to, because we're out to eat or whatever, we usually end up dealing with some diarreah.

Stifler's - posted on 04/16/2011

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*shudders* I never even thought of doing those things. I thought it was just common sense that a baby doesn't need soft drink :S

Johnny - posted on 04/16/2011

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Just today at the mall I saw several small toddlers probably between 1 and 2 being pushed in strollers holding pop cups. Not the little sizes they give at the A & W for juice, but the soda pop size with brown liquid in them. I've only once seen a baby with pop in their bottle though. I wanted to pick it up and run away with it. The baby that is, not the bottle.

Johnny - posted on 04/16/2011

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And I agree with Christine & Rebecca, pop/soda/soft drink is definitely the worst. Even for myself, I think beer is healthier, lol.

Johnny - posted on 04/16/2011

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I did not start giving my daughter juice until she was almost 2. I did not see any good reason to introduce it. She eats lots of fruits and vegetables. My mother started giving her a bit of orange juice when we were out for brunch, and then of course, she got hooked.

I weaned her when she was 2, and she refused any other milk afterwards (cows, goats, sheeps, soy, rice, almond, coconut... argh!). At first, she ate a lot of yogurt, cheese, and other dairy products, so I didn't worry. But then she started refusing yogurt and ate less cheese. I started worrying about her calcium intake. So now I give her a 1/2 glass of calcium enriched orange juice a day and try to feed her more calcium rich vegetables and nuts to make up for it. But if she took in other calcium inclusive products, I wouldn't even give her juice now.

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