When Can My Child Start Drinking Juice?
My 9-month-old seems interested in trying new foods. I’d like to offer him juice, but I’m not sure if he's ready and, if he is, what type of juice drinks to give him. Any suggestions?
It's best to wait until after a baby is 12 months old before offering juice. But even then, pediatricians don't recommend giving toddlers 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 a toddler does drink 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.
- Never give juice to a child who has diarrhea or as a treatment for dehydration.