When Can Babies Drink Juice?

Babies don't have a nutritional need for juice. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that children under 6 months of age should never be given juice. Even when a baby is 6 months of age, there's still no need to give them juice. In some cases, it can actually cause health problems for the baby. If you still want to give your baby juice after 6 months, there are some guidelines you should follow.

100 Percent Juice vs. Juice Drinks

If you've decided to give your baby juice, you should read the nutritional labels carefully at the store to make sure that what you're buying is actually juice. Under FDA rules in the United States, the term "fruit juice" can only be used on a product if it is in fact 100 percent fruit juice, with nothing added. If the product is labeled as a "juice cocktail" or "juice drink," it has additional ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and preservatives. These are products with a lot of extra sugars added to them, and they should not be given to your baby. "Nectar" is another term you'll see on labels, which means the juice has water and possibly additional sweeteners added to it.

How Much Juice Can My Baby Have?

Babies shouldn't be given more than one-half of a cup of juice over the course of a day. You'll want to avoid giving your baby juice from a bottle or from a cup that they can suck on all day. This can lead to tooth decay and other problems. Monitor them when you give them juice, and make sure it's only a little bit at a time.

What Are the Risks?

Juice doesn't have much nutritional value aside from vitamin C. Your baby is growing extremely fast for the first year of his life and requires a lot of carbohydrates and proteins in order to do so. Just think of how fast your baby doubles in size from the time he's born. Even though your child can start on solid foods or juice at 6 months, science has repeatedly shown that there's nothing that can compare to breast milk. Juice contains a lot of sugar and empty calories that won't contribute to your baby's health.

The sugars in juice can cause your baby to have diarrhea and can lead to tooth decay. Babies can in fact grow more when they're given a lot of juice, but not in the right way; juice can make your baby obese or overweight. On the other hand, juice can lead to malnutrition. If your baby fills up on juice, he won't have enough room in his little stomach for good foods that are needed for proper nutrition. Juices are extremely sweet for babies, and they'll sometimes start to reject the breast if they develop a preference for juice.

If you are going to give your baby juice, buy only 100 percent juice for him. Mix it at least half with water, or you can buy the pre-diluted versions in the baby aisle at the grocery store. Don't give him juice before bed, because it can keep him (and you) up at night. You can also give your baby water or real fruit at 6 months as an alternative.

No votes yet


Sign in to leave a comment!

Today on JustMommies

When Your Teen Doesn’t Want to Go to College

Justin just isn't ready for college. He's not even sure if he ever wants to go to college, and tells his mom "No, not interested." What would you do if he were your child?

Baby Names from the 80s

What were you doing in the 80's? Moon-walking with Michael? Playing Pac-Man on your Atari?


From the Message Boards

Cloth Diapering


I have a friend who is offering her cloth diapers to me. They are pocket diapers. She used them with...

Attachment Parenting

bed sharing not working - sleep training as a last resort and it's breaking my heart!

hi mommies,ftm of a beautiful ebf 5mo boy. i'd love nothing more than to snuggle with him until he a...


Baby has anemia; doctor told us to stop breastfeeding

We're not going to listen to him of course :sneak: This was a hematologist. I already told our actua...

Moms of Infants

Introducing Baby Food ? Please Help!

Hello everyone my name is julie and I have a precious baby girl her name is Shaniah Lee born 3/7/201...

Moms of Infants

introducing formula at 2 months old

Hi im thinking well trying to start giving my 2 month old formula. He doesnt seem to be getting enou...

» Check out the friendliest message board for moms and moms-to-be!