Honey is often brought up as an all-natural way to add a sweet food into a diet, but there are some key concerns with it that may make you think twice about giving it to your baby.
Since bees make honey it seems like it’s a pure and simple way to give your baby a sweet treat now and then, and this is true but not until they’ve gotten through the first year. Even after that you want to take it easy on the honey, and foods that are made with honey. Today’s manufacturing process means that the honey you’re getting is not as pure as you might think, and going the organic route leaves this a little too natural for your baby.
Even for adults honey is not something that should be eaten in large quantities, and has been known to cause allergies and upset stomachs, which is why you want to be especially careful when giving it to your baby, even after the first year. Logic dictates that if adults can have problems digesting it, babies will have an even tougher time.
Can I Give My Baby Honey? Answer: After Year One
Because of the bacteria known as Clostridium found in honey, you don’t want to subject your baby to a possible case of botulism. By their first birthday they’ll have the digestive enzymes and acids in place to be able to handle it, and you can start giving it to them in small doses. You never want to give your baby or child too much honey at one sitting, because even though it can be part of a healthy diet, it should be consumed in moderation.
At this point you might be thinking, well if I can’t give them honey, and I can’t give them processed sugar, what can I give them that’s sweet to broaden their taste palate and see their reaction? Many babies respond well to fruit, but you’ll want to check for allergies first before giving them too much. Avoid citrus fruits and stick to things like berries, introducing them one at a time to see how they respond to them.
The Importance of Year One
You’ll notice as you go along that many foods are not recommended for babies until they make it to their first birthday. This is because they are still developing during this time, and you don’t want to put any undue stress on their digestive system. That’s why you’ll see many moms and doctors recommending that you breastfeed your baby for as long as possible, and then slowly make the transition to rice cereals and then solid foods, at key developmental times. You don’t want to rush things along faster than what is natural.
Honey is derived from bees of course, and this means that those that are allergic to bee stings might also have a sensitivity to eating products produced by bees. That’s why when you do introduce this to your baby, you’ll want to do it away from any other new foods, so you’ll be able to check for any allergic reactions and know that it is the honey that is causing it. The symptoms can present themselves in many ways, from watery eyes, to a runny nose, to a swelling of the tongue and lips. If you notice any of these, you should probably add it to the list of food that are not OK for your baby.
It’s easy enough to avoid giving your baby honey directly, but what you’ll want to do is make sure that the other foods you’re giving them do not contain honey as one of their many ingredients. This is often the case with honey-flavored products, and the grade of honey that is typically used for mass-produced items is very low, and not something you’d want to be giving to your child.
In the end it will depend on you and how you’re choosing to raise your baby. There are varying degrees of how detailed parents want to be when it comes to feeding their babies, with some moms being very particular and sticking more to organic foods, and others taking a more relaxed approach and feeding them foods that the whole family eats.