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Introducing Orange Juice to Baby: All You Need To Know
When the topic is nutritious foods for baby orange juice can’t be overlooked. Though a newborn should only be given breast milk or formula milk till 6 months, parents are often curious about the question that whether they can add orange juice or some flavours to their little one’s diet.
Orange juice is a great option while starting your baby’s solid food. When your exclusive breastfeeding phase is just over i.e. 6 months, orange juice is a safe and healthy element to include in your baby’s solid diet. You can feed your baby orange juice in little amounts in the beginning and gradually increase the dose.
When Can I Give My Baby Orange/Orange Juice?
The exclusive breastfeeding phase is usually 6 months. After this period, juices or solid foods should be introduced in his diet. Small amounts of orange Juice for babies 6 months old is completely safe. Oranges are one of best first foods for the baby.
How to Feed Orange or Orange Juice to Your Baby?
Since a baby’s digestive system is undeveloped, he/she can’t be fed pure fresh orange slices in the initial phase of introducing solid foods. The best way to feed citrus for babies is to squeeze them and make juice and feed them in small amounts by spoon. Make sure the juice is fresh and not kept for more than 2 hours. Don’t store or refrigerate the juice as Indian climate is not suitable for storing and your baby can’t avail the goodness of vitamins like this.
Orange is a citrus and acidic fruit and hence always use either glass containers for feeding. Metals react with acidic foods and may make it unhealthy. Once your baby is okay with solid foods and learns to sit, try de-seeded oranges as finger foods as they are more effective than juice.
Should I add Water or Sugar to the Juice?
Orange juice contains 85-88% of water and hence there is no need to add water to it. And, it contains natural sugar so there is no need to add sugar as well. Also, you should avoid sugar, honey or any kind of sweetener till your baby is one-year-old.
Parents often think of sweetening baby’s food as he rejects most of them due to blandness. But, sugar is not just a tastemaker but a risk to the bones, immunity and health as well. Refined sugar undergoes too much chemical exposure during manufacturing and hence baby’s fragile health can easily get affected after eating sugar. Natural sugar is the best tastemaker for babies. You can create a blend of fruit juices to make it happening. (And No Jaggery too even though according to Indian Traditional ways, its given to babies, any kind of additional sugar is not good for baby below 1 year)
Can I give Canned /Tetra packaged Orange Juices to Baby/Toddler?
Important Note: No Market Made Juices For Babies! These juices are loaded with sugar, whatever the maker is claiming. It’s best to avoid the market made juices as the preservatives, chemicals and added sugar is harmful to the baby. Already a developing baby’s intake is less in quantity so we should make sure the nutrient content of the baby food is as high as possible.
Can I Give My Baby Juices in Bottle?
While feeding babies orange juice, use spoons or cup if your baby is able to sit. When you offer orange juice to your baby in a bottle, he will enjoy the slow sucking which can affect the enamel of his milk tooth. Feeding juice through spoon is completely safe.
Orange Juice for Baby Constipation
The fibre-rich fruits, especially the whole fruits when chewed are helpful in improving digestion. Try to give de-seeded oranges instead of orange juice which is strained.
Orange Juice for Babies with Cold
The Vitamin C rich fruits like oranges are helpful to avoid a cold but they won’t help you cure the cold due to their citric nature. The citrus fruits are to be avoided during the cold. They definitely help you avoid cold but not cure them. There is a difference between avoiding and curing cold, please understand it.
Health Benefits of Oranges
Effective in Cold and Cough
The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C help to avoid cold and cough in babies. Orange also saves your baby from viral infections and speed up his recovery.
As discussed above, the rich fibre content in orange helps to cure constipation in babies. The pulpy and fibre-rich fruits are very effective for bowel movement.
Oranges contain 85-88% of water and hence you can be assured of your baby’s hydration throughout the day. It also encourages nutrient absorption and hence improves digestion.
Rich Source of Minerals and Vitamins
Oranges contain many essential nutrients and vitamins that are needed for your baby’s growth.
When a baby grows, the poor diet and bad lifestyle may create a risk of Rickets for him. This also happens due to the lack of Phosphate and calcium in the body. Oranges help in preventing Rickets in babies.
Potassium for Cardiac Health
Oranges contain Potassium and many other important minerals which help in warding off the cardiac diseases. Potassium is an electrolyte that is responsible for normal heart functioning.
As you saw above, Orange is a great citrus fruit for your baby which can keep him healthy and fulfil his nutrient requirements. When your baby is able to eat orange slices, say after a 10 months age, you can also try orange fruit as finger food for baby to serve the goodness of this pulpy fruit in a tempting and enjoyable form.