Can my Baby or Toddler Drink Juice?


Read time: 3 minutes

What should I know about giving juice to my child?

  • No juice is recommended under 1 year of age

  • Whole fruit provides beneficial nutrients that may be lacking in fruit juice

  • Learn juice recommendations for children older than 1 year of age

When introducing solids, you likely offered your baby many types of fruits, and now you might be wondering if you can start offering fruit juice.

While fruit juice does seem nutritious, especially since it contains some of the vitamins and minerals found in the whole fruit, some products may include added sugars. And while 100% fruit juice can be part of an overall nutritious diet for a child over 1 year, there is potential for it to add more naturally occurring sugar to the diet than is needed.

What age can I give my baby juice?

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no fruit juice for children under 1 year as it offers no nutritional benefit and can have negative effects on dental health.2,3

Occasionally your pediatrician may recommend small amounts of juice such as apple or pear juice if your baby is experiencing constipation.6 These fruit juices contain sugars that help loosen stool by drawing fluid into the intestines.

Read more How can I Relieve Constipation for my Baby and Toddler?

Is eating whole fruit better than drinking fruit juice?

In short, yes! Whole fruit contains the skin and pulp of the fruit, which is rich in fiber. Fiber can help your little one stay fuller longer, normalize blood sugar, and help keep them regular.4,5,7

In addition, chewing and swallowing solid food is an important skill for babies to master, and offering fruit in a size and texture they can handle is a great way for your baby to practice.

Read more: Introducing Solids: First Foods & Textures

Can my toddler drink juice?

Yes, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends toddlers have no more than 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of 100% juice per day.9

When offering juice to child older than 1 year, provide it in an open cup. Since closed cups like sippy cups, straw cups, and bottles can be carried around and drank from all day, a child drinking juice from these may expose their teeth to the sugars in juice for long stretches of time. This has been linked to a higher risk for developing dental caries (cavities).3

Also, because juice is so sweet, it may train your child’s tastebuds to expect extra sweet flavors in their foods, making less sweet foods – such as whole fruit – less appealing.8 You can dilute juice by mixing water with juice to help give it more volume and help reduce its sweet taste.

Learn about: Transitioning to Cups for Babies and Toddlers

How much juice can my child drink?

  • For infants younger than 1 year: No juice is recommended

  • For children 1-3 years old: Limit fruit juice consumption to no more than 4 ounces each day.

  • For children ages 4-6 years old: Limit fruit juice consumption to 4 to 6 ounces each day.9

What beverages should my child drink?

Because the calories from juice may displace other healthful nutrients children need, it is still best to limit juice consumption to an occasional beverage.1,3 Instead, encourage your child to enjoy a wide variety of whole fruits.

Breastmilk and formula should still be the primary source of hydration for babies under 1 year, with the addition of a few ounces of water at 6 months.10 Cow’s milk and water should be the primary source of hydration for children older than 1 year, with the exception of soymilk when medically or culturally appropriate.11

Always discuss milk, plant-based milk alternative, and other beverage choices with your child’s healthcare provider.

Read more:

What Type of Milk Should My Toddler Drink?

Alternatives to Sweetened Beverages and Juices

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Healthy Snacks for Babies and Toddlers

How can I get my Baby to Love Veggies?

Nutrient Needs and Feeding Tips for 6 to 12 Month Olds

Meal Plan for 12 Month Old Toddler