Juicing for Babies
It is no secret that as children grow up, they tend to develop an affinity for sweet tasting food items like sweets, chocolates and ice-cream. It is also well known that they also increasingly avoid healthy foods like vegetables, especially. Most health conscious parents would love to instill healthy eating habits into their children, so that they will grow up to not only understand the importance of a healthy diet, but to also actually live and eat healthily on their own. In order to achieve this goal, most parents consider feeding their children with fruits and vegetables as early as possible, and for those that cannot chew yet, the parents turn to juicing.

Babies Are a little Different

It may seem sensible to some parents to start feeding their babies with raw juice as early as possible, but the American Academy of Pediatrics warns against giving fruit juice to babies less than 6 months old. An exception to this would be in the case of a constipation, where fruit juice could be used to solve the problem, but as always, consult a doctor first. It is also recommended that after the 6 or 8 initial months, the baby can then be slowly introduced to very diluted quantities of juice.

Precautions When Giving Juice to Babies

Juice to Babies Precautions
Babies have a body made up of different systems that are still in development. This makes it important that proper care is taken with their nutrition. As much as parents may want a baby to be fed healthily just like them, there are major differences between the parent’s bodies and the body of their baby. This makes it impossible for a baby to consume juice in the same manner as the parents.

The following are some of these points to consider:

Tooth Decay

Fruit juice may contain a lot of sugar, depending on the particular type of fruit from which the juice was made. Giving your baby, or young kid too much fruit juice may cause dental problems. In fact, when starting out, it is best to start with only vegetable juice, and then add fruit juice to it as time goes by.

Diluted juice

The digestive system of babies are still in development, and so are other systems like the immune system. The digestive system in younger babies may not be ready to process fruit and vegetable juice appropriately, so it is recommended to dilute the juice with water. 1 part juice to 3 parts water is okay for older toddlers, while 1 part juice to 10 parts water will be ideal for much younger babies.

A little Juice is Already Enough

It is also important not to overfeed babies with juice. The AAP (aap.org) advices against giving juice in a bottle to babies. Rather, the juice should be giving in a drinking cup and should not exceed 4 fl. oz. (120ml) per day.

Juice Should Only Supplement

Juice should only be an addition to your baby’s normal meals, it should not in any way replace the meals. This is because your baby needs fiber that is normally not present in juices. There are also other nutrients that are not available in fruits and vegetables, so in order for the baby to eat a balanced diet, juice can only be a supplement.

Hygiene

Babies still have developing digestive and immune systems, and this puts them at a huge risk when it comes to bacteria and other microorganisms from fresh fruits and vegetables. Proper hygiene is therefore of utmost importance when making juice for your baby, by yourself. Fruits and vegetables should be washed properly, and those who have peel-able skins should be peeled. This is because the majority of these microorganisms are found on the outer parts of the produce.

Cooked Veggies

It is advisable to give your baby only cooked vegetables or fruits initially, or at least until it is older than 8 months old. This way, the baby can still benefit from some of the nutrients from cooked produce. As a parent, you are also free to mix vegetables or fruits as you wish, simply mash them together after boiling, and with time, you will find out your baby’s favorite mix.

No Extras

When juicing for your baby, it is better to avoid adding extra substances like honey, salt, sugar or any spices that would normally be added in an adult’s juice mix. This is to avoid any possible complications, as your baby’s digestive system still needs time to develop.

Monitoring

If you feed your baby with fresh fruit or vegetable juice, you will have to watch out for any signs of an allergy or other anomalies. This should be done in the initial stages when you start to feed the baby.

Choosing a Juicer for Your Baby

When deciding on the perfect juicer for your baby, the ability to juice both fruits and vegetables properly, will be a deciding factor. This is because although your kid may tend to love the normally sweeter juices from fruits, vegetables on the other hand can be really nutritious and are therefore also necessary for your baby’s optimal health. In addition to that, leafy vegetables are a must, and so this requirement of being able to properly juice leafy greens puts centrifugal juicers out of the question. So now, you are left with the choice of either a masticating or a hydraulic press juicer. But since masticating juicers normally have a homogenizing function, and hydraulic press juicers don’t, the best juicer for your baby will be a masticating juicer(also called slow juicer).

The Homogenizing Juicer

Most masticating juicers have extra parts or chambers that can be swapped on the machine to temporarily change it from a juicer into a grinder of sorts. Set this way, you can then make baby-food inside the juicer. You can also make fruit-sorbets, grind coffee and make peanut butter, including other things. The masticating juicer will not only finely juice both fruits and all types of vegetables for your baby’s health, it will also make baby-food, including plenty of other interesting recipes.


Wrap Up

Babies initially don’t need the extra nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables, but they do need it in their adulthood. In order to raise a healthy and health-conscious child therefore, you will have to slowly incorporate raw juice into your baby’s diet, but only starting from the appropriate age for your kid. If done well anyway, your child should develop a healthy attitude towards raw juicing and healthy living and in that case, your work will have been done.

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