The young usually get fruit only after the 6th month of life. Then the parents begin to feed the first food. At this time, fruit juices in small quantities can supplement baby porridge. As a drink, they only play a role for about a year. Vitamin C-rich fruit juices should help ensure that the sprout is sufficiently supplied with iron. Because dietary vitamin C improves the availability of iron from plant foods such as vegetables and whole grains. This is particularly important if the offspring is fed meatless and thus eliminates meat as a good iron supplier. For this reason, the research institute for child nutrition in Dortmund recommends mixing the first milk and vegetable pies of fruit juice with at least 40 milligrams of vitamin C per 100 milliliters.
- The law determines the content
Especially for infants and toddlers up to three years produced and labeled food must meet special quality standards. These are specified in the EU directive on complementary foods. For example, in addition to strict limits for residues and harmful substances, minimum values for vitamins are also required for baby food or juices.Vegetable and fruit juices and fruit nectars, which are offered especially for children, must contain at least 25 mg of vitamin C per 100 ml of beverage. Before this regulation came into force, manufacturers were more guided by the recommendations of the Research Institute for Child Nutrition and offered fruit juices containing 40 mg of vitamin C per 100 ml. The legal regulation has now led to the fact that the juice producers today for reasons of cost less enforce the vitamin. For this reason, baby and child juices often contain only 25 to 30 mg of vitamin C. By nature, only orange juice contains about 40 mg of vitamin C per 100 ml. By contrast, other juices, such as apple or pear juice, naturally contain little of the sensitive vitamin.
- Organic juices without artificial additives
For conventional manufacturers, the prescribed minimum value does not cause any difficulties. They have always added synthetic vitamin C to the juices. For organic food manufacturers artificial additives are out of the question. Without enrichment, the benchmark can hardly be reached except for orange juice. In order to be able to offer vitamin C-rich juices for the little ones, organic producers mix acerola cherries or sea buckthorn in the form of juice or marrow, which naturally contain high amounts of vitamin C. Thus, 100 g acerola cherries have 1000 mg and 100 g sea buckthorn 266 mg vitamin C.
- Hardly any differences
In addition to the statutory provisions, the baby or child juices hardly differ from other fruit juices. Only apple and grape juices for babies are usually less acidic than the normal juice supply. Mixed juices for the little ones, on the other hand, often also contain more acidic variants, such as orange or blackcurrant juice. Sensitive infants can respond with a sore butt. In addition, citric acid and juice are sometimes added to the products as an acidulant or for flavoring. Fortunately, the manufacturers of baby and toddler juices usually abstain from adding sugar or other sweeteners. Often they mix the fruit so that the taste naturally matches the rather sweet preference of children.
Anyone who wants to prepare the porridge for his baby according to the recommendations must therefore study the label of the juices very precisely and make targeted use of a vitamin C-rich product. Parents can also use larger amounts of juice or dodge on enriched fruit. Conventional multivitamin juices are not suitable because the amount of vitamin added can be too high for infants and toddlers. If well tolerated, you can use ordinary orange juice, which naturally contains enough vitamin C. If the offspring react sensitively, special low-acid baby juices are suitable. For children at risk of allergies, juices with citrus or other exotic fruits should be avoided in the first year of life. In addition, products from just one type of fruit are better than mixed juices. In general, it is recommended to always prefer juices made from 100% fruit juice. If you want to keep residues and pollutants as low as possible, it is best to use baby or juices from the health food store.
- Infants usually eat enough fruit
Juices in the diet of infants are recommended, but not a must in infants. One-year-old children can also meet their nutritional requirements well without fruit juices in a full-fledged diet. According to an extensive long-term study, children of this age consume abundant fruits and products made from them. They therefore absorb enough vitamin C. The variety of juice can indeed provide a change of taste; As a thirst quencher, however, water and unsweetened teas are better suited. Pure fruit juices can damage the teeth due to the relatively high fruit sugar content. Therefore, they should be diluted at least 1: 1 with water or with unsweetened herbal or fruit tea and never be bottled to stew permanently.