Healthy Ice Lollies for Babies... Fruit Juice or Not to Fruit Juice?

ice lolly recipe Aug 12, 2020

It’s summer in the UK and when the weather is warm what better way for you and the family to cool down than with healthy ice lollies (also known as popsicles).

Ice lollies are a great idea for your infant too, helping to not only to cool them down, but to stay hydrated and if they are teething, they can help chill gums, reducing discomfort.


What Should I Use to Make Healthy Ice Lollies for Babies?

Making home-made ice lollies is going to be a major improvement on sugar fuelled shop bought ice lollies, however it is important to know that using only fresh fruit juice is also not ideal for your little one’s stomach either.

Juices have been thought to be a healthy option for a weaning age infant (around 6-12 months). However surprisingly to many, fruit juice contains ‘free sugars’, falling into the same category as the sugars found in honey, natural syrups, fruit juice concentrates and added sugars such as white table sugar. Shocking right! They all behave in the same way in the body, potentially damaging teeth and contributing to an excess intake of energy which can result in unhealthy body weight.

Also babies will naturally take a liking to the sweet flavour of juice, however it is important baby’s milk feed is not substituted with a drink of juice. Weaning babies need the protein, fat, vitamins and minerals from the breast or infant formula milk. Otherwise there could be a reduction of growth at this critical time of development.

Intrinsic sugars present in whole foods such as fruit and vegetables are not counted as added sugar and can be eaten freely in your baby’s diet.


Avocado and raspberry ice lollies

Fruit Juice Can Cause Funny Tummies!

Evidence suggests that babies under one are lacking an essential protein (known as the GLUT5 transporter) which is found in the small intestine and helps the body to absorb fructose. This means that your little one will struggle to digest fruit juice and could end up with the following side effects:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating
  • Discomfort in the abdominal area
  • Excessive wind

 Not nice for baby or parents!!


Protect Those Pearly Whites

Consuming 100% fruit juice can impact baby teeth causing the potential of dental decay.

Prolonged exposure to fruit sugars on the teeth when sucking on a juice ice lolly or drinking it, can damage your little one’s teeth. If you do choose to offer your baby fruit juice it is important to dilute it 1 part juice to 10 parts water. If offering this as a drink, try and stick to meal or snack times to ensure other foods are eaten to help minimise the effect on those little teeth.


Healthy Ice Lollies Recipes

 There are lots of great options for ice lolly recipes, some of our favourites are below:

  • Breastmilk (formula milk is not recommended to be frozen)
  • Herbal tea (sugar free and caffeine free), we like grapefruit or mixed berry tea
  • Avocado blended with plant-based milk
  • Roughly mashed banana or strawberries set with breast or plant milk
  • Unsweetened plant-based yoghurt with fresh fruit dropped into the mould
  • Place whole fruits in any of the ice lolly moulds to increase visual appeal


Place full or lightly crushed strawberries into the moulds for some colour & extra fruit intake

Offer Whole Foods Where Possible

Whole pieces of fruit have natural fibres which slow down digestion of fruit sugars (commonly fructose) and does not cause a spike in energy. They also fill baby’s up quicker compared to juices which can contain more than one portion of fruit per serving. This increases the amount of fructose reaching your baby’s digestive system at speed resulting in that unwanted energy spike.

Adding whole fruits chopped up or sliced and placing them in the ice lolly moulds is another great way to add fruit to your baby’s ice lolly’s and it helps keep them super nutritious too.


Sugar free coconut yoghurt & berries make a great ice lolly for babies & toddlers

Four Things to Remember - Fruit Juice

  • Avoid fruit juice under one years old, encourage your baby to eat whole foods rather than juice varieties
  • Fruit juice is not digested well and can cause diarrhoea and stomach discomfort
  • Fruit juice may contribute to dental decay
  • Fruit juice can be introduced after one year old however should be heavily diluted 1 part juice to 10 parts water


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