Can Babies Have Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)? Is It Safe?

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Written by Amy Kaczor RDN

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Many adults love to use apple cider vinegar because of its many proposed health benefits, such as improving gut health. However, is it safe for your baby to have apple cider vinegar? 

Overall, it is safe to give your baby apple cider vinegar as long as it has been pasteurized and filtered. Additionally, make sure you speak with your child’s physician about the appropriate dilution ratio and how to prepare it safely for your baby.

This article will cover more information regarding apple cider vinegar, its risks, and potential benefits to your baby. 

Is Apple Cider Vinegar Safe for Babies? 

Apple cider vinegar is safe for babies as long as it is pasteurized and filtered and the baby is at least six months old. 

apple cider vinegar bottle with fresh apples on table

Since apple cider vinegar contains apple juice, let’s briefly discuss guidelines for giving your baby juice. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that babies have only pasteurized juices, 

Therefore, only give your baby store-bought and commercially-produced apple cider vinegar that specifies that it has been both pasteurized and filtered.

While it has fewer health benefits for your baby, filtered apple cider vinegar has the “mother” removed. The mother is a collection of bacteria that is suspected of providing many health benefits.

It is recommended that adults dilute two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces, or one cup, of water (source: Pacific College of Health and Science).

However, there is no standardized dilution ratio that has been established for babies. Therefore, speak with your physician to decide how much apple cider vinegar you can give to your baby and how to prepare it safely mixed into foods, such as fruit puree. 

Since apple cider vinegar gummies are very concentrated and meant for adults, it is best to avoid giving them to your baby. Additionally, many apple cider vinegar gummies contain the mother and are made from unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Your baby’s immune system is likely not well-equipped to handle these strains of bacteria. 

If your baby accidentally eats an apple cider vinegar gummy, it is unlikely to cause any serious problems. Do not panic! However, monitor your baby for any unusual symptoms and report them to your child’s pediatrician if they occur. 

What Are the Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for Babies? 

Apple cider vinegar can benefit your baby because it contains vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K (source: United States Department of Agriculture [USDA] FoodData Central). The main function of vitamin K is aiding in blood clotting (source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Babies are not born with enough vitamin K so they receive a shot of vitamin K after birth. However, it is also important to continue to provide them with sources of vitamin K in their diet!

Apple cider vinegar can also function as an anti-microbial and anti-bacterial compound against E. Coli, S. Aureus, and more (source: Scientific Reports). Therefore, it can protect your baby from bacteria that can make them sick! 

raw apple cider vinegar

Risks and Side-Effects of Apple Cider Vinegar for Babies

There are a few risks of giving your baby apple cider vinegar. Mainly, many parents wonder if it can cause a reaction due to the acid present. Just monitor for symptoms and if you notice acid reflux or indigestion in your baby after they consume apple cider vinegar, consider giving them a smaller amount or none at all.

Additionally, apple cider vinegar that has not been properly diluted can cause damage to your baby’s teeth. As mentioned above, speak with your physician about appropriate preparation and dilution.

Ensure that if you are introducing apple cider vinegar to your baby in the form of a salad dressing, there is no honey in the dressing if your baby is not yet 12 months old. 

Overall, I hope this article was helpful in discussing how to give your baby apple cider vinegar safely.