I researched for you whether the consumption of honey, which is very beneficial for health, is harmful to babies and when it should be given. According to the experts’ explanations, the discomfort that may occur with the consumption of honey before the age of 1 may bring serious troubles. So when is the best time to consume honey in babies? When should honey be given to babies? Does honey milk harm babies and children?
One of the foods that should not be introduced to babies during the transition to additional food after 0-6 months is honey. The most obvious risk of honey consumed before the age of 1 is ‘Botulism’. Honey, especially given to babies younger than six months, increases the likelihood of this ailment. Babies diagnosed with botulism should be under hospital treatment for 45 days. For this reason, parents should behave consciously during the supplementary food period and introduce their babies with useful foods. So what are the signs of ‘Botulism’ disease caused by this unnoticed error? What should be considered in honey consumption in infants? Here are the answers:
Although the first symptom of this ailment that appears in the 12-36 hours interval is constipation, others may include:
- Eyelid drop,
- Can’t hold the head steady
- Feeling of weakness
- Constant sleep
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling in the abdomen
Benefits of Honey for Children
Known for relaxing digestion, appetite and helping the body heal in developmental disorders, honey is a must for healthy nutrition for children over 1-year-old. In particular, the need for iron deficiency can be met by the mineral-rich source of pine honey. In addition, with the magnesium feature, blood clotting and stress can be prevented in the vessels. In school-age children, the possibility of being successful in their lessons can be increased by providing clarity of mind. According to the information obtained from the researches, it has been determined that the children who consume honey in their diet grow faster and healthier than the others.
One of the healthy methods used in ancient times is to use the sweet and softening feature of milk honey mixture against cough and throat disorders. Since it is not easy for children to drink a plain and hard-tasted milk, it may be desirable to add sugar for sweetening. However, it is better to use honey, which acts as a natural sweetener instead of sugar.
- Honey, which is less sweet than the table sugar, softens the bitter taste in food.
- It is used in the treatment of common cough in the winter period.
- When active children will be in a hurry during the day, they can fall at home and cause minor injuries to their bodies. If you apply the honey to the injured area, you will speed up the healing process.
- It is very useful in anemia, blood clotting, stress reduction, carelessness and strengthening 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. Having a weight between 20-25 kilograms, the child should consume 20-25 grams of honey daily. This corresponds to an average of 2-3 dessert spoons. There is no harm in mothers eating honey during pregnancy and lactation. But one mistake that mothers who have given birth do not realize when breastfeeding is applying honey to the nipple. It is also a big mistake to dip the pacifier into honey for crying to cease or sleep comfortably.
What Is the Nutritional Value of Honey for Children?
There are two basic sugars in honey. One is levulose and one is dextrose. These two sugars are mixed directly into the blood without the need for digestion by the digestive system. This energizes immediately. Honey contains protein, vitamins, and minerals, but no cholesterol. It has an antibacterial property. We can explain the reason for this: The sugar in honey reacts with water molecules. This means that the water that the bacteria need disappear. And the bacteria that are dehydrated die.
Apart from that, the enzymes in honey produce hydrogen peroxide. They produce free radicals, which free radicals kill bacteria. Honey does not spoil unless it is subjected to an unusual effect. Honey contains potassium, chlorine, sulfur, calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, silica, iron, manganese and copper. Among them, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus are quite high.
The color of the honey and the balance of sugar are caused by the collected nectars. The fragrance of honey is given by the flavored volatile oils in the flowers. 900 thousand bees have to work for a day to collect ½ kg of raw nectar. Honey is a very valuable nutrient. Some of these collected nectar can be turned into honey. Dark honey is more nutritious than light ones. In fact, the vitamin and mineral value of honey changes according to the flowers that the bee feeds on. But naturally, there are thousands of flower types as well as dozens of honey types. Ask your doctor which honey is most useful for your baby, flower honey, pine honey or special honey types that come out in certain periods?
Strengthen Your Child’s Immunity With Honey
Honey is one of the unique flavors produced by nature… It is a natural healing source and a valuable nutrient element due to the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes it contains. Honey, which has an important place in child nutrition after 1 year, is also involved in the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections, especially in winter. Honey, which is a special food source with its rich content, is also very important for children. Easy to digest, it has a calming feature thanks to its useful ingredients. It has other benefits but needs careful use in children.
Honey, which contains many vital substances such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, is indispensable for child nutrition since it facilitates digestion, appetite and helps the body recover in developmental disorders. Due to its high mineral content, especially pine honey contributes to 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 concentrate during the school period.
It also helps prevent constipation in all age groups due to its effects on the healing of the intestinal microflora. It is known that honey strengthens the immune system and has a positive effect on the healing of wounds and inflammations. In the researches, it has been determined that the children who consume honey have a better growth and development rate.
Mixing honey with milk and milk products is one of the oldest known methods of protection against cough and throat diseases. Honey’s sweet, milky softening feature allows you to start the day vigorously and gives a feeling of satiety. Using honey instead of sugar to sweeten milk is beneficial because it facilitates both honey and milk consumption of children. It is a known fact that drinking milk with honey instead of milk alone contributes to preventing anemia and constipation and facilitates digestion.
How Much Honey Should Children Eat?
Consumption amount of honey is important. Children are recommended to consume an average of 1 gram of honey per kilogram of their weight. For example, if a child who is 20-25 kg consumes 20-25 grams of honey or about 2–3 teaspoons of honey per day, it is a great benefit for development.
Mixing honey with milk and milk products is one of the oldest known methods of protection against cough and throat diseases. Honey’s sweet, milky softening feature allows you to start the day vigorously and gives a feeling of satiety. Using honey to sweeten milk is beneficial because it makes it easier for children to consume both honey and milk. It is known that drinking milk with honey instead of milk alone contributes to preventing anemia and constipation and facilitates digestion.
According to their sources, honey can be classified as flower honey, chestnut honey, and honeydew honey, and according to the way they are obtained, they are classified as honeycomb honey, strained honey, and press honey. The raw material of honey is nectar. Nectar of flower honey comes from flowers. Secretion is also a plant-derived liquid. Nectar of secretory honey is obtained by the bees collecting the liquid secreted by some plant-sucking insects. Pine honey is one of the world-famous types of honeydew honey.
Honey Should Be Given to Children After 1 Year
A bacterium called Clostridium botulinum can be found in honey. Honey, which is not dangerous for adults, can cause Botulism disease, asthma, allergies, respiratory and nervous palsy since the immune system does not develop in infants who are not 1 year old. Although it is a natural and nutritious product, it can be harmful due to toxic and allergenic substances in its content. (Toxic and allergen content is formed by being affected by pesticides and agricultural agriculture in the region where beehives are located.) Therefore, products with known quality and reliability should be selected while consuming and buying honey. Babies should never be fed honey before 1 year.
During pregnancy and lactation, there is no harm or even a benefit for the mother to consume honey. However, there is a mistake that mothers frequently make during breastfeeding, which is to apply honey to the nipple for breastfeeding, to stop crying, or to give the baby a comfortable sleep. Unfortunately, this tradition we see from our mothers and grandmothers can cause serious problems.
What Happens If Babies Under One Year Old Are Fed With Honey?
A bacteria in honey attacks the baby’s nervous system, which is not yet fully developed. When babies under one-year-old are fed honey, the baby may experience weak crying, weak sucking, loosening of the arm and leg muscles, and constipation. These are among the first symptoms of infant botulism. In addition, the first symptoms include a noticeable weakening of the muscles that control the baby’s eyes, face, mouth, and throat.
Side effects of honey (symptoms of baby botulism) in babies under one year old can be seen between 8-36 hours. Mothers who give honey to their baby before the age of 1 seriously endanger their babies. Although the aforementioned disease is rare, it can lead to nerve palsy and even death in infants. Especially comments such as “I started giving honey to my baby before he/she was one year old, and nothing happened!” on the internet may mislead other mothers.
Consult your doctor before giving supplements such as lemon-honey mixture, etc. to your babies who are sick during the winter months! Mixing honey with water or giving ready foods containing honey (such as baby biscuits with honey or baby dolls with honey …) may also have the same effect.
Giving Honey to Babies Older Than One Year Old
It is okay for the baby to consume honey after completing 12 months (if he does not have a different disease or allergy), on the contrary, it is very beneficial for these babies who are in the growing period. There are trace amounts of enzymes, amino acids, minerals and antioxidants useful for baby in honey. In addition, there are small amounts of B and C vitamins in honey.
In addition, the fact that honey is a nutrient with natural sugar can facilitate the consumption of honey in babies older than 1 year. Some children can get their milk habits by drinking milk with honey. But do not forget that frequent and high consumption of honey will harm the teeth due to the sugar in it! As an alternative to honey, which is preferred as a sweetener, fruit purees containing natural sugar, bananas, and dried fruits can be added to milk, yogurt, and baby formula.
Honey can be used as a cough remover and wound healing for babies and children over 12 months. Applying honey to babies younger than 12 months can have the same effect as feeding.
Best Honey Products That You Can Buy Online for Kids
- Sundown Kids Honey Soother Sore Throat Lollipops, Non-GMO, Rasberry, 10 Pectin Pops (Price: $4.01)
- Lolleez Organic Throat Soothing Pops for Kids with Organic Honey – 2pk Multi-Pack (Price: $13.99)
- Luden’s Cough Drops, Wild Honey, 30 Drops (Price: $3.29)
- Special Supplies Juice Bear Bottle Drinking Cup with Long Straws, 3 Pack, Squeezable Therapy and Special Needs Assistive Drink Containers, Spill Proof, and Leak Resistant Lids (Price: $12.95)
- Honey Stinger Organic Cracker N’ Nut Butter Snack Bars, Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate, 1.5 Ounce (12 Count) (Price: $21.12)