With all the hype about how good pomegranates and pomegranate juice is, you may wonder if you can give this fruit to your baby.
A study on pomegranate juice suggests that women who are pregnant can decrease their baby’s chance of getting a brain injury called hypoxia ischemia. An estimated 2 full-term babies out of every 1,000 are born with hypoxia ischemia. The rate is even higher in infants that are born prematurely.
While pomegranate juice is safe for those who are expecting, that doesn’t mean it is safe for babies. There are many things to consider when introducing new foods to your baby. You need consider your child’s age and health. The reason for wanting to give them pomegranate is another factor to consider. Do your reasons for wanting to give them this fruit offer possible benefits that outweigh potential risks?
Can I Give My Baby Pomegranate? Answer: Pasteurized Juice Can Be Given Sparingly
Pomegranates should not be given to babies because the edible part of the fruit are seeds. The pomegranate seeds are a choking hazard to babies; therefore, they should not be given to them.
Juice should not be introduced to babies until they have graduated from drinking from a bottle to a cup. Depending on your child, they will be able to drink from a sippy cup at the age of 6 months or older. A report from Health Guidance For Better Health indicates a majority of pediatricians feel a baby should not receive juice until they are 8-months-old. Juice should be offered sparingly because infants receive most of their nutrition from formula or breast milk.
The amount should be limited to 4 oz a day for an 8 -month-old. In addition, only pasteurized juice purchased from the store should be given to babies and toddlers. Also, it should be 100 percent juice, meaning there are no added sweeteners. If it says the words fruit cocktail or drink on the label, it has added ingredients.
Dental Health and Juice
Dental health should be taken into consideration when giving babies pomegranate or any type of juice. Dental cavities have been linked to drinking juice. Babies usually begin getting teeth when they are about 6-months-old. According to the American Academy of Pedodontics, juice should only be given to babies in a cup, and they should never be allowed to take it to bed with them. When teeth are overexposed to the natural sugars in juice, it can result in cavities. Consider purchasing a baby tooth and gum cleanser that comes with a soft finger brush to promote good oral hygiene.
Pomegranates Can Cause Allergies
Some fruits are more likely to cause allergies than others. The Institute of Food Research lists pomegranates as a fruit that can cause an allergic reaction. Before introducing your baby to fruits and fruit juices that can cause allergies, you should offer varieties they are less likely to be sensitive to. Strawberries, pineapple, cherries, and grapes are some of the other fruits that can trigger an allergic response. None of these fruits are a common cause of allergies in infants, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
Naturally Good for Constipation
On a good note, pomegranate juice is a good way to naturally relieve constipation. If your little one can drink from a cup and is constipated, pomegranate juice benefits are likely to outweigh any potential side effects. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), juice can be given to infants that are older than 2 months when suffering from constipation. For those over 4 months, the NLM suggest high-fiber baby foods, such as apricots, plums, prunes, and spinach.
On the flip side, drinking too much juice can cause diarrhea. If they already have loose stools, you will want to avoid giving him or her this beverage.
You can give your baby pomegranate juice in limited quantities when he or she is able to hold a cup. It is better to dilute fruit juice with water using equal parts of each, as recommended by many healthcare providers. Some parents even prefer using more water than juice. Remember to always purchase pasteurized pomegranate juice rather than making it at home for infants and toddlers. Unpasteurized types are not recommended because they can cause food poisoning caused by bacteria.