When to Introduce Juice, Sippy Cup?

Updated on November 07, 2010
A.W. asks from Aurora, CO
5 answers

My eight month old still has not been introduced to juice. I've asked his doctor when a good time would be but they never seem like they really like the juice idea they say that his main source of vitamins should come from his formula until one year of age (21 ounces of formula a day at this age is what was recommended by the doctor for proper vitamins). My son still doesn't really hold the bottle on his own yet (he sometimes holds it but not for very long, then I end up holding it for him). I read somewhere last week that juice should not be introduced until he takes a sippy cup. I have let him play around with a sippy and he drank a tiny amount out of it, but otherwise is not interested in it. I am somewhat worried that he isn't getting enough fruits. We started him only on veggies a few months ago and now that is what he prefers. He does eat a little bit of fruit though. What age should a baby hold their own bottle? When should a sippy and juice be introduced? Any advice would be fabulous! Thank you all so much!

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answers from Denver on

Okay - we moms do worry about making the right choices, and regardless of what we choose we still carry some kind of "mommy guilt" - so, please try to give yourself a little break every once in a while.

In the Parents Magazine this month, there's a big article on juice and which juices have what nutritional value, calories, sugar content, etc. if you choose to give your child juice. Check it out! If you can't find the magazine, let me know and I would be happy to send you a copy of the article.

My pediatrician also encouraged us to put off juice as long as possible. My daughter loves milk, and I was happy to put off juice - my husband, on the other hand, never has understood this philosophy, and would give her sips of his juice - so, I started to "let go" a bit. I would give her maybe 1 or 1.5 oz of orange juice with about 2 oz of water. Enough to taste, but it wouldn't taste THAT good. Docs worry a lot about the high glycemic index in relation to juice (blood sugar).

If you'd like for your son to eat more fruits, try mixing some baby food fruits into his other food. I'd put a lot of what my DD liked on the spoon and a little of what I wanted her to eat on the spoon as well. The food she liked was the stronger of the two tastes, and I was able to get her to eat more veggies while she tasted more of the food that she enjoyed.

Sippy cups with handles on either side are the easiest to start with - Playtex ones are pretty good and don't leak. I gave my DD a sippy cup with all her meals and took one in the diaper bag for her to have any time she wanted. Put water in it or formula/milk as she got older. She took to it very quickly - and she was also not a big one for holding her own bottle. I always seemed to hold the bottle and she just enjoyed the feeding time. The sippy cup was different and interesting, and she loved it right from the start!

My advice is to always talk to you pediatrician - he or she will point you in the right direction according to your specific child's needs. That's going to be your safest and most accurate information.

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answers from Denver on

It all depends on the child and mother, they say to break the bottle at the year age, but I know people who have started to introduce the sippy cup around 9 months old. The rules on the juice is the baby can have 1 ounce of baby juice to each month child is. My daughter had juice around 4 months old because she had constipation. Some doctors don't recommend juice because the children sometimes take to that more and as they get older the sugars can cause tooth decay. If your worried about fruit intake, I used to mix my dd rice cereal with formula and fruit and she would love it. I hope this helps and gl.

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answers from Denver on

There is no logical/nutritional reason to give the child juice. Please don't do it. Please be brave in the area of feeding your child and omit junk carbohydrates (juice, crackers, cookies, etc.). This overdependence on carbs can lead to poor eating habits, less healthy children, and of course, overweight children. I never, once, gave any baby or toddler of mine juice, and I have the healthiest children of anybody I know. Example: three girls ages 6, 9 and 12, only one ear infection ever. Thank you for considering this!

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answers from Denver on

My pediatrician recommend staying away from juice as long as possible because studies show that children introduced to juice before one year of age have a much greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes later. Please don't feed your baby juice. As far as a sippy goes, they will gradually get more interested. Put water in, or try it with formula, and offer it occasionally. For fruit servings, this is a great time of year! So much fruit is available in the summer. Try soft fruits--cut up, fresh peaches and pears, chunks of melon, pieces of banana, berries--either while or cut in pieces, etc... My daughter never like the baby food fruit--but loves fresh fruit. Also, remember that veggies are great. They contain all the vitamins that fruit does. It may be better if he doesn't develop a sweet tooth, and continues to enjoy eating veggies his whole life!

Good Luck!

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answers from Missoula on

Don't forget that Veggies and Fruits are not all that different and as long as your child is healthy and active then he is probably fine. I also have a 8 1/2 month old- we also fed him veggies before fruits with the intent on getting him to love his veggies. My son wenth through a phase of not really liking fruits, but I kept trying and eventually he began to eat them. Remember a baby wont starve themsevles! If he refused to eat a meal once in a while, he will be ok. I also began to mix his fruits with his veggies for lunch (fruit for breakfast and veggie for dinner). I just split the baby jars in half, mixed them and that way I know he is getting both. As for the juice, he probably doesn't need it for two reasons: 1. he is getting what he needs from formula and veggies (plus juice really doesn't have that much nutrients in it anyway), 2. try to feed him "table" foods- just make sure they are soft either natrually or by boiling them, cut them up so tiny that he wont choke, and let him eat with his fingers, be sure to keep an eye on him though. My son eats, avacado, olives, beets and even peppers because we just expose him to everything! I am a preschool teacher and can tell you that letting you baby try to feed themselves (he will only eat maybe an 8th of what you give him at first) has amazing benefits: more variety in their diets, fine motor (grasping the food), hand-eye-coordinations (getting it to their mouth), exploring through their senses (touch, sight, smell, taste) and it is just plain FUN! ALso remember that an adult serving of fruit is 1/2 a cup (half of an average sized apple) so even if you son eats what constitutes one adult bite he probably got his serving.
Hope this helps!

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