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Honey For Babies - Is Honey Good For Babies?

Written and reviewed by
Dr.Sanjeev Kumar Singh 92% (193ratings)
Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine and Surgery (BAMS)
Ayurvedic Doctor, Lakhimpur Kheri  •  13years experience
Honey For Babies - Is Honey Good For Babies?

Honey is an age-old treat for both babies and adults and elevates a person’s mood. Introducing your baby to any new food is one of the most exciting phases of parenthood.

Mild and unpasteurized honey is a powerhouse of nutrients and offers ample health benefits, making it ideal for babies.

Honey is a great medicinal supplement for treating cough and infections in babies. It keeps the digestive tract clean and also prevents diarrhea. Apart from serving raw honey to your babies, you can add it to porridge and fruits or in any other baked foods.

Benefits of Honey For Babies

Rich in minerals, antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes, honey is full of essential nutrients to promote better health in babies. However, to get the most out of this sweet nectar, it is best to pick honey that is not processed. Possible benefits of honey for babies include:

  • Gives relief from cold, flu, and cough instantly
  • Increases immunity
  • Induces sleep in babies
  • Supports regular bowel movements
  • Takes care of the digestive system health
  • Promotes cognitive development in infants

Honey For Baby Cough

Honey contains a substance that acts as a cough suppressant termed as dextromethorphan.

Add a little amount of pure honey in some warm water for treating cold, cough or fever in babies. Give the mixture to your baby twice a day for the best results.

Babies who suffer from upper respiratory tract infections can be given a teaspoon of honey at night before they sleep to reduce coughing and at the same time improving the quality of sleep.

How To Introduce Honey To Your Baby?

If you want to introduce honey in your baby’s dietary regime, you can just add a bit of it to their bit to their favorite foods. It is beneficial to introduce honey slowly in their diet to avoid any allergic reaction. Try any of the following methods to incorporate honey in your kid’s diet:

  • Add honey into oatmeal.
  • Spread honey onto toast.
  • Put honey into yogurt.
  • Add honey into a homemade smoothie.
  • Use honey when making waffles or pancakes.

When Can Babies Have Honey?

Babies should be given honey only after they cross a 12-month mark i.e. they are more than 1 year old. Honey has a rare type of bacterium, Clostridium botulinum that can cause extreme food poisoning in babies. Honey is also bad for baby’s emerging teeth, that’s why consumption of honey by a baby who is less than 1 year old is not recommended.

Side Effects Of Honey For Babies

  • If your baby is not 1 year old, then honey can cause quite a few side effects as their immune systems are strong enough to kill the spores of the bacterium in their gastrointestinal tracts.
  • The primary risk of giving honey to a baby who is less than 12 months old is infant botulism.
  • Babies under 6 months of age are at the highest risk as their bodies start producing harmful neurotoxins on honey consumption.
  • Botulism is a serious condition that can cause breathing problems and muscle weakness in babies.
  • The most common symptoms of Infant Botulism include constipation, lethargy and weakness. Other serious symptoms include trouble breathing, paralysis, seizures and muscle cramps.

Summary:

There is no doubt health benefits of honey are exceptional and increase immunity is babies. This thick liquid serves as an excellent addition to your baby’s dietary regime, however, it’s necessary to wait until your baby is at least 1 year old.

If your baby is less than 12 months old, it does not matter whether raw or mass-produced, you must avoid including liquid honey in their diet.

Hence, before giving honey to your baby as a supplement or including it in their meals, considering their age is very important. It is also advised to take consultation from a pediatrician before giving honey to your baby.

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