Honey for Babies – yes or no ?

honey for babies - yes or no?

Mothers frequently ask  “Can I give honey to my Baby? Yes, Honey is considered as wholesome and nutritious food, but you will have to be careful about what age you can add honey into your little one’s diet.

When can my baby eat honey?

You will have to wait until the baby reaches 1 year mark before you can introduce honey to them.  The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and WHO (World Health Organization) advises against adding honey in the food, water or formula given to Infants below 12 months. These spores are usually harmless to adults and children over 1 year old, because the microorganisms normally found in the intestine keep the bacteria from growing.

Why can’t my baby under 1 year eat honey?

Honey contains clostridium botulinum, which, when introduced to babies can germinate in infant’s immature digestive system and lead to a rare but potential fatal illness called “Infant Botulism”.

Common Symptoms for Infant Botulism include-

  • lethargy
  • feed poorly
  • constipation
  • have a weak cry or muscle tone
  • infant appears “floppy” (a possible sign of muscle atrophy)
  • facial weakness
  • impaired gag reflex

What about Baked or cooked foods with Honey?

Yes, most of the bacteria can be killed on high heat during our normal household cooking process, but  botulism spores in Honey will need very high temperatures to be killed which is simply not possible through household cooling methods. It is wise not to  give babies under 1 year  breads, cookies, puddings containing honey.

The botulism spores can only be killed by the high heat which can be obtained in a pressure canner. The toxin (that is produced in anaerobic conditions) can only be destroyed by boiling. So technically, honey is not safe for infants even in cooked form such as in baked foods like breads. Botulism spores will NOT be destroyed during and under household cooking methods and temperatures.

Honey for Babies – yes or no ?


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