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This one is about: Milk vs. Juice for Babies, Toddlers

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Milk vs Juice for Babies, Toddlers

Here are some thoughts by Amy Beth Hilton,MD

      (Wide Smiles, anesthesiology consultant)

Don't use juice in place of breast milk or solid foods. There have been several studies recently that show that babies and toddlers who drink lots of juice grow more slowly and are intellectually delayed (Do they catch up later? No one knows.) Juice fills the stomach, but has only fast-burning carbohydrates and not much else. Gaelin needs protein for muscle growth, calcium for bone growth, and fat for myelination of his brain and spinal cord for proper intellectual and motor development. He has gotten lots of benefit from your breast milk and will continue to get benefits from it, but it is almost time to start introducing cow's milk, so why not use that to substitute? Or the formula, whichever you feel more comfortable with.

If you use cow's milk, use whole milk, not the reduced fat milk that you and the rest of your family probably drink.

If you are trying to see how much food/liquid your child ingests, a food diary is a good idea, being sure to write down exact amounts and ingredients of table foods (like what is in your beef stew--is it mostly beef or mostly vegetables?  Homemade or canned?)  A nutritionist should be able to calculate how much fat/protein/calories/vitamins in his diet and give you some idea of whether he is meeting his expected needs. Offering him high calorie extras like ice cream, butter on his bread and vegetables, cheese, etc. may also help. I did want you, and the rest of the list, to know that too much juice (more than 4 oz.) can cause problems.

Amy Beth Hilton, MD
Wide Smiles, Anesthesiologist Consultant

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