Honey for Babies: Is It Harmful?



Honey is one of nature’s unique flavors. It is a natural source of healing and a valuable nutrient due to the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes it contains. Honey, which has an important place in child nutrition after the age of 1, is also involved in the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections, especially in winter. Dietitians provide important information about honey consumption in children.



Honey, which is a special food source with its rich content, is also very important for children. It is easy to digest and has a calming feature thanks to its useful ingredients. There are other benefits, but it needs to be used on children carefully because of its possible adverse effects, especially on babies younger than 12 months. I will get into detail about the use of honey on babies who are both younger than 12 months and older than 12 months.

Strengthen Your Baby’s Immunity With Honey


Honey, which contains many vital substances such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, is indispensable for child nutrition because it facilitates digestion, appetite and helps the body recover in developmental disorders. Due to its high mineral content, especially pine honey, contributes to the elimination of iron deficiency in children. The magnesium contained in honey prevents blood clotting in the veins and protects it from the negative effects of stress. It helps children keep their perceptions open and maintain concentration during school. It also helps to prevent constipation in all age groups due to its effects on the healing of intestinal microflora. It is known that honey strengthens the immune system and has a positive effect on the healing of wounds and inflammations. Research has shown that children who consume honey have better growth and development rates.



The mixing of honey with milk and milk products is one of the oldest methods of protection against cough and throat diseases. Honey’s sweet, milk softening feature allows you to start the day vigorously and gives a feeling of satiety. The use of honey instead of sugar to sweeten milk is beneficial because it facilitates the consumption of both honey and milk for children. It is a known fact that drinking milk with honey instead of milk alone contributes to preventing anemia and constipation and facilitates digestion. The consumption of honey is important. It is recommended that children consume an average of 1 g of honey per kilo. For example, a child weighing 20–25 kg consumes 20–25 g per day, ie 2–3 teaspoons of honey.

According to honey sources, they can be classified as flower honey, chestnut honey, and secretion honey, and honeycomb honey strained honey and press honey according to their production methods. The raw material of honey is nectar. Nectar of flower honey comes from flowers. The secretion is also a plant-derived liquid. The nectar of the secretion honey is obtained by bees collecting the liquid secreted by some plant-sucking insects. Pine honey is a world-famous secretory honey variety.

Honey Should Be Given to Babies After 1 Year Old


Honey may contain a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. This bacterium, which is not dangerous for adults, can cause Brulism disease, asthma, allergy, respiratory and nerve paralysis since the immune system does not develop in infants under 1 year of age. Although it is a natural and nutritious product, it can be harmful due to toxic and allergen substances in honey content. (Spraying and farming in the area of ​​beehives will cause toxic and allergen content.) Therefore, when consuming and buying honey, select products that are known for their quality and safety. Babies should never be fed honey before 1 year of age.



During pregnancy and lactation, there is no harm in the consumption of honey by the mother. However, there is a mistake that mothers frequently do during breastfeeding, which is to apply honey to the nipple for the baby to suck the nipples, to stop crying or to sleep with the pacifier feature of the honey. Unfortunately, this tradition that we see from our mothers and grandmothers can cause serious problems.

Honey is a kind of natural food. It is produced naturally and contains whatever is good in nature. There is no harmful substance in the nature of honey. However, as with all agricultural products, producers in honey production resort to medicines to combat pests and diseases. Unconscious drug use may sometimes lead to the presence of chemicals above world standards in honey.

How Should Honey Be Given to Babies?


We investigated whether honey consumption, which is very beneficial in terms of health, is harmful to babies and when it should be given. According to experts’ comments, the consumption of honey before the age of 1 may cause serious problems with discomfort. What is the right time for honey consumption in babies? When can honey be given to babies? Does honey milk harm babies and children? Read on to learn more about honey consumption in babies.

Honey is one of the foods that should not be introduced to babies in the transition period after 0-6 months. The most significant risk of honey consumed before reaching 1 year of age in babies is ‘Botulism’. In particular, honey given to babies under six months of age increases the likelihood of this condition. Babies diagnosed with botulism should be hospitalized for 45 days. Therefore, parents should be aware of the nutrients that are beneficial to their babies by acting consciously during the additional food period. What are the signs of ‘Botulism’ caused by this undetected mistake? What should be considered in honey consumption in infants? Here’s the answer.



Constipation is usually the first symptom of this condition, which may occur in the range of 12 to 36 hours, but others may include:

  • Low eyelid,
  • Inability to keep his head steady
  • Feeling weakness
  • The desire for constant sleep
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling in the abdomen

Honey is known to help digestion, appetite and help the body to heal developmental disorders. Especially due to the mineral-rich source of pine honey, iron deficiency needs can be met. In addition, blood clotting and stress can be prevented in the vessels with magnesium feature. In school-age children, the possibility of success in their classes can be increased by providing mental clarity. According to the information obtained from the researches, it was found that children who consume honey in their diets grow faster and healthier than others.

One of the healthcare methods used in old times is the use of honey as a sweetener along with milk as a softener against cough and throat diseases. Since it will not be easy for children to drink simple and hard tasting milk, it may be desirable to add sugar to sweeten it. However, it is better to use honey instead of sugar, which acts as a natural sweetener.



Known Benefits of Honey:

  • Honey, which is less sweet than the sugars put on the table, softens the bitter taste of the food.
  • Used in the treatment of common cough in winter.
  • Moving children will be in the hustle and bustle during the day and may cause minor injuries to the body. If you apply the honey to the wounded area, you will accelerate the healing process.
  • It is very useful for anemia, blood clotting, stress reduction, carelessness and strengthening of the weak immune system in children.

The most important point to be considered in the consumption of honey in children is to suggest that approximately 1 gram of honey should be consumed depending on the weight. The child who weighs between 20 and 25 kg should consume 20-25 grams of honey per day. This corresponds to an average of 2-3 teaspoons.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, it is safe for mothers to eat honey. However, a mistake made by the mothers who had given birth inadvertently when they were breastfeeding is the application of honey to the nipple. It is also a great mistake to put the pacifier in the honey for crying to end or to sleep comfortably.

When Should Honey Be Given to Babies?


Honey, which is one of the healthiest foods in the world as it is in nature, is extremely important for human health. Honey, which has been used in the treatment of many diseases since at least 3000 years, is mixed with lukewarm water and mixed directly into the blood within a few minutes. Children and adults can easily consume honey, except in some exceptional cases. What about babies! Do babies get honey?



The color, aroma, taste, smell, sugar content, density and some nutritional values ​​of honey vary from the plants to which it is collected. The consumption of honey containing acids, enzymes, vitamins, proteins, and minerals is not healthy for babies who have not completed their first 12 months. The main reason for this is the baby’s immature nervous system. Although honey is a healthy and natural food, it contains a bacterial spore called Clostridium botulinum, which causes infant botulism (honey poisoning in infants), which is a rare but fatal disease in infants under 12 months of age. Usually in the soil, growing in the dust, bacteria are present in honey in food.

What Happens If Honey Is Given to Babies Under One Year of Age?


This bacteria attacks the infant’s nervous system, which has not yet been fully developed. When babies under one year of age are fed honey, the baby may have weak crying, weak sucking, relaxation of arm and leg muscles and constipation. These are among the first signs of infant botulism. In addition, the first signs include that baby’s control over the eyes, face, mouth, and throat muscles weaken noticeably. In infants under one year of age, the side effects of honey (signs of infant botulism) can be seen between 8 and 36 hours.



Mothers who give honey to their baby before the age of 1 put their babies in serious danger. Although the aforementioned disease is rare, it can lead to nerve palsy and even death in infants. Especially on the Internet, “I started to give before the age of one, and nothing happened!” and similar comments may mislead other mothers. Especially lemon-honey mixture for the recovery of infants who are sick in winter should not be used. Please consult your doctor before giving supplements to your babies under one year! Mixing honey with water or giving ready-to-eat foods (such as honey baby biscuits or honey baby food mam) to babies under one year of age may have the same effect.

Giving Honey to Babies Older Than One Year Old


There is no harm in consuming honey after the baby has completed 12 months of age (unless it has a different disease or allergy), but it is very beneficial for babies who are in the growing age. Honey contains trace amounts of enzymes, amino acids, minerals and antioxidants that are useful for the baby. There is also a small amount of B and C vitamins in honey.



In addition, honey being a natural sugary nutrient facilitate the consumption of honey for babies older than 1 year. Some children can acquire the habit of milk by drinking honey with milk. However, do not forget that frequent and excessive consumption of honey will damage the teeth because of the sugar inside! As an alternative to the preferred honey for sweetening, fruit purees containing natural sugar, bananas, and well-dried fruits may also be added to the formula. For babies and children over 12 months of age, honey can be used as an antitussive and wound healing. The application of honey to babies less than 12 months may have the same effect as feeding.

Why Is Honey Fatal for Babies?


One of the healthiest ingredients in the world, honey is fatal, especially for people of a certain age. But what makes honey deadly compared to other foods? If you raise a child or plan to have children, you probably know that children under a certain age should not be allowed to eat honey. In all its benefits, honey contains Clostridium Botulinum, a bacterium likely to produce botulinum toxin.



In fact, Botulinum poison is one of the most powerful poisons the world knows. Botulinum spores are found in many places in our daily lives: soil, dust and honey. Even if people older than one year often ingest botulinum spores, their digestive system can cope with it. But people under a certain age can be very ill, because bacteria develop in the immature gastrointestinal tract. Immature means that the intestines of infants cannot solve the more complex digestive problems presented by live botulinum spores. In essence, the intestines of an infant allow these spores to remain and develop in the intestines. Thus, Botulinum manifests itself.

The Most Powerful Toxin in Human History


Botulinum toxin is dangerous for all people. It can grow in canned meat and other rotten protein-rich foods. A derivative of botulinum toxin is the structure that is injected into human skin when exposed to botox. Yes, those who have botox inject their faces with snakes or bee venom. In this case, the toxin performs the necessary effect on the region by numbing the nerve endings in the region where it is injected a certain time. If swallowed or overdosed, the results of the toxin may be much greater than that of its cosmetic effect. The lethal dose of botulinum toxin, the most toxic natural substance of humanity, is only 0.0000001 mg per kilogram of body weight. It’s so small that you can’t see a rate like that in any poison.



The toxin kills you by paralyzing your muscles as in botox but this time it paralyzes your muscles that allow you to breathe. So a baby can easily die because of eating honey. There may be people in the world who add honey to their baby’s food. It is a miracle that their children do not lose their lives with an anaphylactic shock. There are some parameters and indications for the baby’s botulism. Most symptoms appear in infants between 6 weeks and 6 months. Stagnation in the intestine may allow the development of botulinum, but it does not indicate the presence of toxin in your baby. If you want to know more about the symptoms, you should consult your doctor.

What Are the Symptoms of Botulism Disease?


Botulism is not an infectious disease transmitted from person to person. In the event of infection, the patient may need medical attention due to the disease spreading through the skin, lungs and gastrointestinal tract. Botulism disease is one of the most serious types of disease that causes muscle paralysis. This disease is caused by botulinum toxin and the neurotoxin produced by the bacterium called clostridium botulinum. There are 7 neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum. A, B and E types of neurotoxins, which last from A to G, cause severe paralysis. Occasionally, F type can cause severe paralysis. Botulinum toxin should be remembered as one of the most toxic substances found in humans. Due to botulism, the nervous system is significantly affected and vital risks arise. The bacteria that cause botulism disease have the power to produce the most powerful poison in nature.

  • Causes of Botulism

In botulism, pathogens are capable of both living in an oxygen-free environment and being very mobile. It is known that there are 7 different types of bacteria. During the vital activity of the bacteria, the strongest toxins can be developed by the rod. Gas is produced when the toxin is produced due to illness. Among the causes of botulism, there are:



  • Poisoning caused by canned food
  • Fish cooking types or canned fish consumption
  • Garlic or spices
  • Poorly processed mushroom consumption.

Wounds are one of the other causes of botulism. Botulism can also be observed due to wound formation.

  • Types of Botulism

There are three different types of botulism depending on how botulism occurs. The first botulism variety is food-borne botulism. At this stage, consuming foods containing botulinum neurotoxin causes exposure to botulism. Wound botulism is another type of botulism. With the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, a neurotoxin production may occur in the wound and wound botulism may be seen. Botulism can also be seen in infants. Botulism in babies consumes the spores of botulinum bacteria and bacterial formation occurs. Bacteria grow in the intestine, causing neurotoxin secretion.

  • What are the Risk Factors for Botulism Disease?

The risk of developing botulism can always occur in different situations. Specifically, C botulism bacteria and processed food which is not properly stored that allows spores to grow, invoke botulism disease. Canned foods made at home or spoiled canned foods cause botulism disease as well. The active substances in honey may contain a small number of bacterial spores. Therefore, honey consumption is not recommended for children under the age of 1. Botulism may cause disease in the wounds. There is a significant risk of botulism, especially if the wounds come together with fecal materials.

  • Symptoms of Botulism

Botulism disease has a secret process like other infectious diseases. The symptoms of botulism are similar to food poisoning. The first symptoms of botulism include vomiting, diarrhea, pain, and nausea. Complications such as visual impairment, muscle tissue diseases, mumps, and pneumonia may also occur in people who have botulism.



  • How is Botulismus Treated?

Botulism treatment is intended to remove the toxins completely from the body and remove the changes that occur in the body due to the infection. For the treatment of botulism, it is primarily aimed to remove botulinum toxin from the stomach. Therefore, the stomach is emptied. Intestinal dialysis is then performed. Soda solution is used for intestinal dialysis. A serum is applied to prevent botulism toxin from spreading. Water-salt metabolism is used to purify the body from toxins. Antibiotic treatment is very important for effective treatment.

It is very important that the body is saturated with oxygen in order to eliminate the negative consequences of pulmonary failure. It is important to eliminate complications caused by botulinum toxin occurring in the body. Complication treatment should be started to eliminate complications. People suspected of botulism must be admitted to the hospital. Botulism is one of the most dangerous diseases. Botulinum bacteria, which many people are not aware of, can cause unwanted results. For this reason, it is very important that people give importance to the hygiene rules of cooking, storing and preserving the naturalness of the food.

Savaş Ateş

I like eating honey a lot. We have a huge interest in bees and how they make honey. I have visited honey farms. I have talked to a lot of honey sellers. I read a lot of books about them. I want to share my knowledge with you.

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