Everyone knows carrots are healthy, but is carrot juice something that’s good for your baby?
As parents, we have so many questions about the food and drinks that our babies can have. We want to ensure they are getting all of the vitamins and nutrients necessary for healthy growth and development while also making sure that the foods and drinks they are consuming are safe for their tiny bodies.
As your baby gets older, they will be ready to start consuming new foods and drinks. Up until your child is around four months of age, their sole food and drink consumption comes from breast milk or formula.
Once your child is between four and six months of age, they can start tackling solid foods, such as pureed fruits and vegetables as well as cereals. Around six months of age, your child’s doctor may recommend to start your child on supplemental fluids, such as water or juice. One very healthy juice to give to your child is carrot juice.
Can I Give My Baby Carrot Juice? Answer: From 6 Months
Carrot juice is filled with many vitamins and nutrients. It is also low in fat and unlike fruit juices, it is not acidic, making it easy on your child’s stomach. Unlike raw carrots, some carrot juice is known to have a sweet flavor, which may help picky children enjoy drinking it.
Keep in mind that up until your child’s first birthday, they should still get all of their essential vitamins and nutrients from breast milk or formula. Though throughout the first year, they are introduced to other foods and drinks, breast milk and formula should still be the main focus of their diet.
When your child is ready to start juice, some doctors may recommend to dilute the juice with water. Sometimes, too much juice can upset your child’s stomach and cause them to have diarrhea or become constipated.
How Much to Give Them
Your child should also be limited to 2-4 ounces of juice per day. Consuming too much juice may make your child feel full, causing them to refuse to take breast milk or formula at feeding time. While carrot juice is made with carrots and is beneficial, giving juice to your child too often may also make them favor the sweet taste of juice and less likely to take breast milk, formula or water, which are more bland in flavor.
While juice should never be given in place of an actual vegetable or fruit, it can help ensure your child is getting some good vitamins and minerals in their diet. If your child is a picky eater and refuses to eat vegetables, carrot juice can help replenish and vitamins and nutrients.
When choosing a brand of carrot juice, you should consult with your child’s doctor and make sure you read the labels. There are plenty of baby-specific brands of carrot juice available at most grocery stores. While they are more expensive for a smaller bottle, they generally do not contain any added sugars or unnecessary ingredients like other brands. You could also find a homemade carrot juice recipe and make carrot juice from scratch. While it may be more time consuming than grabbing a bottle of the shelf, you will know for sure what ingredients are in the juice and know exactly what it is your child is consuming.
So remember, your child can start having carrot juice around six months of age. Keep in mind that your child generally does not need any supplemental fluid, so juice (and other beverages) should be limited to 2-4 ounces per day. Even though carrot juice is not very acidic, it is sometimes best to dilute it with water to ensure it will not be harsh on your child’s stomach. Carrot juice is a great source of vitamins and nutrients, and does not have as much sugar as other juices.
Concerns with the Sweetness
It is important to note that carrot juice can have a sweet taste, and too much juice may incline your child to favor the sweet taste and refuse other blander drinks, such as formula and breast milk. While carrot juice is healthy, it should never replace formula or breast milk in your child’s diet, as your child gets his or her main nutrients from breast milk or formula up until their first birthday.
If you have any questions about carrot juice, what brands to choose, how much to give your child, or when to introduce it into your child’s diet, you should consult your child’s physician. They will be able to discuss your concerns and answer your questions in more thorough detail.