Orange juice is such a mainstream beverage it may seem an obvious choice for children. However, young children that are just learning to eat new foods can be more sensitive to this acidic drink. Orange juice can be either a healthy alternative or a detrimental choice, depending on your 1-year-old. One thing you don't want, is to introduce too much too quickly. You might end up with a cranky baby that has a bad diaper rash.
As with all new foods, introduce orange juice to your 1-year-old slowly. Allow her to have some in a sippy cup and wait 24 hours to see if she has a reaction. The acidity in orange juice is more likely to affect the skin, so you might see a rash or hives. This will usually happen right away, but it's a good idea to watch for signs over the next day. Sometimes a food sensitivity will show up as a diaper rash the next day.
Pure orange juice that doesn't have anything added to it (specifically sugar) is very nutritious. One cup has enough vitamin C for the day and it also has folic acid and potassium. Orange juice can be a quick way to get vitamin C into the body. You'll want to do this at the first sign of a cold. When the snot starts running, it's time to dose with vitamin C. Orange juice has plenty of this, gets into the system quickly and the natural sugars often give sick kids a small energy burst.
You might not know that some orange juice has calcium. It is fortified this way for vegans and ovo-vegetarians that don't eat dairy. It is also good for children that don't like to drink dairy milk. A cup of fortified orange juice has the same amount of calcium as a cup of cow's milk. Even if your child likes milk, you might like to mix it up by adding fortified orange juice to their diet.
You don't want to feed your 1-year-old too much orange juice. Water, breast milk and dairy milk are better alternatives. Any kind of juice is high in sugar and can fill a child up without adding a lot of nutrients. Don't feed a child this young more than one cup of orange juice a day. You'll also want to be careful when you child is sick. While orange juice can boost immunity and help with everyday colds, the acidity can aggravate canker sores or swollen glands. This is particularly noticeable if they have the mumps.
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