I don’t know about your town, but my town is going absolutely juice-crazy. Every day a new juice place pops up that offers fresh squeezed vegetable and fruit juices straight from an industrial strength juicer. I’m definitely not complaining. Drinking your veggies makes it easy to get a full serving on the go, and the nutrients fill you up while also providing negligible calorie amounts. As I thought about the health benefits of my kale-spinach-celery-cucumber-parsley-lemon green juice the other day, I wondered whether or not the healthy drink would be suitable for growing babies.

When you give it your initial consideration, you assume it must be perfect for a baby who is just switching to real food. They don’t need teeth to get a huge dose of vitamins and minerals. However, when you give it more consideration, you realize that there are a few drawbacks, and studies further prove these drawbacks.

You shouldn’t give your baby too much juice when he’s moved on past formula and milk. First of all, he needs to learn how to chew solids in these beginning stages. Though chewing seems like something we’re all born with the ability to do, it actually takes time to learn and figure out. Of course, your baby can’t chew until he has teeth. That’s his body’s way of telling you what he can and cannot handle. If baby can’t eat a full serving of kale because he can’t chew it, you probably shouldn’t be forcing it on him. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices contain enormous amounts of nutrients. Even adults can get stomachaches from them, so you can imagine the havoc it might wreak on a baby’s sensitive system. The pulp from fruits and veggies also contains valuable fiber, which gets left out in a juicer.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t use your new juicer for baby, because there are definitely ways you can make it work. Talk to your baby’s pediatrician about the recommended doses of fruits and vegetables, and consider making small juices for baby based on these recommendations. While juicing to sustain your baby’s health is a bad idea, giving him a little bit of banana juice is far superior to filling him up with sugary, brand-name juices that will decrease his health. While juicers should be used sparingly, they are still better than commercial fruit juices for your baby, which can cause lifelong problems. 

Source: Genzlinger, Kelly, Kathy Erlich, and David Brownstein. Super Nutrition for Babies: The Right Way to Feed Your Baby for Optimal Health. Beverly, MA: Fair Winds, 2012. 78-81. Print.