This is an eternal debate, isn’t it? Should you give your child organic or conventional juice, what’s the difference between the two, and when is organic juice for babies appropriate? If you are asking yourself these questions, you are in the same boat we were.
When is it appropriate?
This is one of the most important questions. When can I start giving my baby fruit juice? The answer is – you ought to wait a bit. You should not give your child juice if she is under 6 months of age. The thing is during the first 6 months your child should be exclusively breastfed. If not, then you should rely on baby formula or pump milk. Nothing else should be given to the baby. This is because the child gets all the necessary nutrients from formulas or breast milk. Juice simply doesn’t have all those minerals and vitamins needed. Fruit juice, and we’re talking about 100% fruit juice here, does contain antioxidants and some vitamins, but it is severely inferior to breast milk.
Fruit juice also contains sugars. Glucose, fructose, and sorbitol are all present in fruit juice, and your child might not be able to handle them. Giving babies fruit juice can cause them to have diarrhea, and can lead to malnutrition. Sugars also cause dental caries.
Another problem with giving fruit juice early is that babies can start to look toward fruit juice as their sole source of nutrition. If given juice often, they will start to refuse breast milk and baby formula. Letting babies drink juice under 6 months will disrupt regular breastfeeding, and should be avoided.
Antioxidants and vitamins
Organic fruit juice is praised for being stocked on antioxidants and vitamins. Antioxidants are thought to prevent a lot of diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Also, juice contains vitamins E and B, which are also thought to be responsible for preventing cancer. It is believed that antioxidants prevent free radicals that cause the destruction of the DNA chain and kill off cells, turning some of them cancerous. However, studies show that this isn’t entirely correct. In fact, many recent studies are saying that antioxidants don’t have a beneficial effect on free radicals.
What we know now is that fruit juice can be beneficial for the child, but only in small quantities. Fruit juice also contains vitamin C that certainly has a long-term beneficial effect. Not only that, but drinks with ascorbic acid double the iron absorption into the body. This makes fruit juice a good idea on occasion, but only in small quantities, and only for small children over the age of 7 months.
Organic vs. Non-organic
Another eternal debate is, of course, organic vs. non-organic. The major rub that people can’t untangle is whether organic fruit juice has a higher nutritional value than non-organic. The second problem is the problem of pesticides and insecticides and their traces in the juice.
Now, we must say that this question is hard to answer. Research that looks into the nutritional value of organic vs. non-organic fruit juice is inconclusive. So far, no research has noted that organic juice carries a greater nutritional value over non-organic juice. This is, of course, the perfect position from which anti-organic people are attacking organic foods. These people claim that organic foods, and their more costly methods of production, are the perfect reason for manufacturers to pump up the prices of their products. However, we must say that this is complete nonsense, and that organic foods have a lot more benefits than conventionally produced items.
Insecticides, Pesticides, Fertilizers
One of the most important benefits of organic juice for babies is the lack of chemical residues in the product. Insecticides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers leave traces of dangerous and toxic chemicals in the fruit used for the making of the juice. Organic fruit is not produced in this way, and the farmers making the food organically don’t use pesticides to treat pest problems, but either use insect traps, or introduce natural predators to reduce the number of pests.
However, it should be noted that conventional fruit juice is still a very strong contender. FDA sets rigorous standards when it comes to product quality, and, so far, the conventional food producers have been able to meet those standards. Traces of chemicals in the non-organic fruit juice are low enough to allow the juice to pass FDA tests. On the other hand, non-organic fruit juice is quite less expensive than organic juice, which is why people usually decide to go with the standard product. If I were to choose between giving our kids a glass of conventional orange juice and a glass of Kool-Aid, I would choose the juice any day of the week.
Organic Juice for Babies
Be all of that as it may, we still believe, when your children are in question, organic fruit juice is the clear winner. The lack of chemical traces in organic fruit juice will ensure your child is as far away from danger as it is possible. Organic juice for babies may not be more nutritious than conventional juice, but it does carry more antioxidants and vitamins, making them an obvious choice.
The only trouble with organic juice for babies is that it carries a hefty price tag. This makes it problematic, as taking care of a child is an expensive endeavor.