I decided against offering Ahalya juice because of a report released by The American Academy of Pediatrics earlier last year. It offered new recommendations warning parents against giving fruit juice to children under the age of one.
And from what I read, I realized that juiced fruit only contains a very small amount of vitamins and minerals. And for infants it offers little to no nutritional benefit over whole fruit.
Fruit juice is also high in sugar (it contains three kinds of natural sugar — fructose, sucrose and glucose) which can put kids at an increased risk of cavities (when they begin to teeth) and its lack of protein and fiber (fruit juices full of empty calories leave kids hungry and moody with low energy levels) can predispose children to inappropriate weight gain.
While natural juices have some vitamins and in some rare cases even a small amount of protein, research shows that the best way to get those nutrients is to eat a balanced diet full of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
So instead of fruit juices, I offer my baby puréed or mashed fruit with some water!
To put things in perspective, consider the fact that a 12-ounce glass of orange juice has almost the same calorie content as a can of soda, close to the same amount of sugar and carbohydrates as a bag of M&Ms and virtually no fiber.