Can a Baby Drink Fruit Juice?

grandfather holding small infant up

Recommendations for babies drinking fruit juice have changed

For many years, doctors recommended that your baby drink fruit juice. In fact, doctors often recommended fruit juice as the first food, other than mother’s milk or formula. If you have a grandparent or caregivers that recommends your baby drink fruit juice, be aware that they may mean well but are misinformed.

Recommendations for Babies and Fruit Juice

Keep in mind that today health professionals do not recommend that your baby drink fruit juice and even water under six months of age. Fluids other than breast milk and formula replace the nutrient-rich milk and can lead to poor nutrition in very young babies. See the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Daily Juice Recommendations. These Guidelines recommend no fruit juice for infants under six months and limited use as your child grows older.

Parents and caregivers should care whether an infant gets enough to drink. An infant’s body consists of 70-75% of water, more than most adults. To maintain this high concentration, babies need more liquids, in relation to their size, than adults. Fortunately, babies naturally eat foods with high in fluid content. You can know if your baby is getting enough fluid by observing the amount, frequency, and concentration of urine. If it is in small amounts, appears infrequent, and highly concentrated, your baby likely needs more breast milk or formula.

As an exception, your doctor or nurse practitioner may recommend diluted fruit juice to ease constipation in an infant. If your baby drinks fruit juice for this reason, your health professional will advise you to dilute the juice (as much as 75-90%) and never use unpasteurized (home-made fruit or vegetable juice or raw apple cider). Unpasteurized juice exposes your young child to harmful bacteria.

As your baby grows beyond six months, use diluted, pasteurized fruit juice offered in a cup at meal time only. This will avoid the known potential for tooth decay, poor nutrition, and obesity associated with children drinking too much juice.


News Alert

Zika in US

As U.S. public health officials try to determine whether Zika has arrived in the country, doctors are establishing guidelines on how to care for the rising number of babies whose mothers were infected with the virus during pregnancy.

Florida said it is investigating two possible cases of Zika not related to travel to an area where Zika is active, raising the possibility of the first incidence of local transmission of the mosquito-borne virus.

Read the rest of this article from Reuters.


Limited Effect of Maternal Flu Vaccination

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that, among children of all ages, those under 6 months of age are at the greatest risk of being hospitalized from flu.

Because flu vaccination is only approved from the age of 6 months, it is recommended that expectant mothers receive a flu shot in order to protect themselves and their newborn children from flu-related complications.

But according to study co-author Marta C. Nunes, Ph.D., of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and colleagues, exactly how long maternal flu vaccination protects an infant after birth has been unclear. See more in Medical News Today

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