“Curds and honey, He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good”. – Isaiah 7:15
In Africa, when they give birth to a baby, on the eighth day, they name the child. During the naming ceremony, they provide honey, sugar, sweetness (Adun), sugar cane, and palm oil, and give them to the child for prayer.
Some people (including me) in Africa believed that when your wife tells you she is pregnant by you, you can start talking or praying for the baby. Telling him or her what you want the child to be in life, how you love him or her male the child to love you and care for you when the child grows up.
What is Honey?
Honey is, sweet, viscous liquid food, dark golden, produced in the honey sacs of various bees from the nectar of flowers. Flavor and color are determined by the flowers from which the nectar is gathered. Some of the most commercially desirable jars of honey are produced from clover by the domestic honeybee.
There are so many benefits when it comes to honey and its power when it comes to improving the brain and the health of a child. Honey has been used for thousands of years due to its ability to build up a child’s immune system, fight off germs, treat allergies, and improve overall health. This can help your child avoid illnesses and feel better overall when they can stay healthy.
What most people don’t know is just how powerful and beneficial raw honey is for a child’s health, vitality, and overall well-being. Honey has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that can help fight infections and boost the immune system. The nutrients found in raw honey can help build strong bones and teeth, and even aid in brain development and eye health. With so many benefits, it’s no wonder honey is one of the oldest remedies known to man.
The power of honey and all the benefits it brings to your child’s health can’t be denied. Honey contains a wide range of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds. Honey also has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which makes it an ideal ingredient to fight illness and boost immunity.
Honey has many benefits. It is rich in enzymes, minerals, and vitamins, which can help build a child’s immune system. It can also help soothe a sore throat and help fight coughs, making it a great go-to when a child isn’t feeling well.
Honey–everyone knows how yummy and beneficial this natural ingredient is. Honey, which is extracted from nectar, is one of nature’s best, of nature’s best gifts and can enhance a child’s health in many amazing ways.
What you need to know before giving honey to your child.
Can I Give Honey to Children?
Although honey has amazing medicinal properties that can help us, it is not meant for babies who are less than a year old. Of course, it is natural and full of good things, but your baby is not yet ready for it. This is mainly because honey has something called dormant endoscopes of a bacterial species known as Clostridium botulism, which can be toxic and cause problems for an infant.
There are different varieties of honey, such as Manuwa honey, which is found in New Zealand. Although it has many benefits, it is best to keep all, kinds of honey away from children below one year of age.
12 Health Benefits of Honey for Kids
Honey has many amazing benefits for the growth and development of kids.
1. Vitamins and Minerals
Honey has quite a few minerals that are extremely helpful for children. It can be used in various recipes or also be given to children directly.
2. Protects Liver
Honey has properties that help the liver control blood sugar level. (it is good for the liver but doesn’t help in controlling sugar levels)
3. Healing Properties
Honey has many amazing healing properties it helps with cough and cold, blood sugar, and even in healing wounds and burns.
4. Healing Sore Throat
Honey is one of the most common natural medicines for sore throat. It has been used in Ayurveda and other natural medicines in different forms to heal a sore throat. Honey for kids’ coughs is something that is followed in many Indian homes, as it works wonders.
5. Medicine for Stomach Upset
Honey is great medicine when children suffer from stomach pain or stomach upset. It helps heal the pain and also increases the child’s metabolism during this time.
6. Heals Toothache
Honey, along with a little cinnamon, is good medicine to heal a toothache. You can make a paste with one tsp. cinnamon and 5 tsp. Honey, and apply the paste directly to the aching teeth. This is a great pain relief when you have a bad toothache.
7. Helps in Digestion
Honey is said to be a natural medicine that helps indigestion. You can make tea with honey when you have indigestion. This will help you instantly, and you will feel a lot more relaxed.
8. Helps Heal Dry Skin
Honey is one of the best moisturizers for the skin. You can make your moisturizer with honey and lemon, honey and Aloe Vera, or just little-diluted honey and apply it on your child’s skin. You will notice how dry skin is transforming faster than ever.
9. Helps Soothe Muscle Pain
Honey helps soothe muscle pain and even growing pains in children. A teaspoon of honey in a glass of warm water will do wonders.
10 Heals Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers can be painful, especially for kids. Apply a little honey with turmeric to the mouth ulcer, as it will help heal the wound faster.
Honey is a great help when children suffer from asthma, especially when they have an asthmatic attack during the night. Honey has the property to suppress congestion and provides a way for easier breathing.
Honey can heal inflammation as well. It has been used as an anti-inflammatory for many years now.
How to use Honey for Cough and Cold in Children
When children are struggling with a bad cold, cough, or fever, honey can help to a great extent. Honey is used in different ways during sickness.
One way that has worked and is the most common way of using it is to add honey to warm water. This mix will soothe the throat and also increase the metabolism of the child.
Taking a tablespoon of honey consumed as it is can also soothe the throat and help in the healing process.
Tips To Make Kids Consume Honey Easily
Honey is loved by almost everyone. It is sweet, and children usually enjoy it. However, you can still find children and adults who do not enjoy the taste of honey. If your child is of the latter category, you could use honey in different food items like cookies or tea, or you can even add it to milk. By adding honey to different food items, you can reduce the sweetness in them. This way, your child will eat honey easily.
Precautions to Jake White Giving Honey to Your Child
Not for Infants
Keep it away from children less than one-year-old, as honey is a toxic food item for babies.
Be Aware of Infant Botulism
Clostridium bacteria that can survive in honey can cause infant botulism. It is a bacterium that resides in the soil but can get into food items like honey.
Avoid Keeping it Open
Honey should be closed and kept in a cool place. Because of the sticky texture and the sweetness of honey, it can attract dust and ants. Hence, it must always be closed and kept.
Avoid Food With Honey for Babies Under a Year Old
Sometimes parents forget to identify food that contains honey and accidentally feed it to their infants. Always be aware of cookies and other items that contain honey when you have an infant around you.
Honey can cause breathing difficulty in infants and even children. This could be because of allergic reactions. So, if you identify any such problem, it is important to visit a doctor immediately.
If you notice that your child is struggling with muscle weakness, then this could be a reaction to honey. Again, it is important to meet the doctor immediately.
Honey is an amazing natural food that has numerous benefits. You can use honey instead of sugar as it is so much healthier and also comes with multiple benefits. Giving honey to your child is a great way to start living healthily.
When Can Babies Have Honey?
Since 2008, lots of changes have been made to the rules of when babies can have certain foods. You might be surprised to learn that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has reclassified many foods that used to be no-nos for babies until they were older as fine for babies after they begin eating solid foods.
However, that is not the case with honey or products made from honey.
The recommendation for when babies can have honey continues to be after age one. That includes both kinds of honey in its raw form and foods cooked or baked with honey.
The Pediatric Nutrition Handbook states, “Infants younger than 12 months should avoid all sources of honey.”
That statement makes it pretty clear that anything containing honey should be off-limits, including honey cereals.
The reason to delay honey is not because of a concern over food allergies or choking hazards, but of a serious disease called infant botulism. Infant botulism is caused when a baby ingests spores from a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum.
These bacteria produce a toxin inside the baby’s digestive tract that can be absorbed into the body and have serious effects on the baby’s muscle control. In rare and extreme cases, the breathing muscles can become paralyzed. If mechanical assistance is not provided, the baby could die.
Signs and symptoms of infant botulism include:
- Flat facial expression
- Lethargy in feeding or a weak sucking
- Weak cry
- Decreased movement
- Trouble swallowing or excessive drooling
- Muscle weakness
- Breathing problems
- When It’s Safer
Maybe you are wondering why honey is not safe for babies under age one but fine for everyone else. The answer lies in the maturity of the baby’s digestive tract.3 Young babies do not have the intensity of acids in the digestive system, which helps fend off the toxins that the bacteria produce. So, while adults and children can handle small amounts of exposure, it is not the case with babies.
Baked Goods Made With Honey
Baked goods made with honey are still off-limits too. Even the high temperatures of cooking and baking will not destroy the botulism spores.3 For this reason, you shouldn’t give your baby baked goods or cooked foods containing honey either.
Wait to Introduce Honey
However, there are certainly those that would argue that these guidelines are overly cautious. They might point to the fact that other cultures outside the United States introduce honey to babies regularly. Further, they might point out that the incidence of infant botulism from honey exposure is a very low risk.
In the United States, fewer than 200 cases are reported yearly, and most of these infants recover fully after treatment.4 If you are considering introducing honey before your baby turns 1-year-old, be sure to talk with your pediatrician and listen to what they advise.
But the statistics certainly do teach us that caution may be prudent. Before guidelines for preventing infant botulism were advocated, 395 cases of infant botulism were reported to the Center for Disease Control from 1976 to 1983. Most of those babies required hospitalization to recover, and sadly, 11 of the babies died.
Why risk something so serious, yet so preventable? Have your baby wait until after their first birthday to enjoy honey and foods containing honey.
5 Health Benefits of Honey for Children Over 2 years
As your child grows through the first few years of life, it’s fun to introduce them to new things. You get to show them the joy of going down a slide, learning to dance, and eating new foods.
Kids have to be introduced to new foods gradually, depending on how many teeth they have and how old they are. A piece of a chicken nugget or a spoonful of ice cream is sure to make them smile, but what about the softer foods, like honey?
Many parents think honey is safe for kids because it’s all-natural, but children younger than two years old should never eat it. They could contract bacteria that cause infant botulism unless they’re around two years old.
It Increases Energy
When kids eat sugary foods, every parent knows to watch out for the energy boost and eventual sugar crash. Sweet foods are fun to eat and occasionally celebrate with, but they spike the blood sugar levels in your child and ultimately leave them more exhausted.
Honey is a natural sweetener that doesn’t contain sugar. The sweeteners in honey are digested more slowly, which is easier on blood sugar. Your child is less likely to develop Type 1 diabetes if their blood sugar is well regulated with easily digestible foods like honey.
It Protects the Liver
Even if your child only eats a teaspoon of honey each day on their toast, their liver will be extra-protected. Honey has anti-toxin properties that stop toxin production in the body, starting with the liver. It’s easily absorbed before removing and protecting against toxins they may introduce into their system.
It’s Easy to Digest
Kids should grow up with the safest and best options in life. Introducing them to all-natural honey after they turn two is an easy way to transition them into organic solid foods. Kids of all ages benefit from organic products, especially when those products are food. Organic honey is also affordable since it’s naturally occurring and not a specialty item.
It Heals Coughs
Young kids are more prone to acute coughs because they’re still developing their immune systems. If your two-year-old develops a cough, give them honey. It’s been shown to work faster than cough suppressants, which will be more expensive, anyway. Mix a teaspoon or two into warm water and give it to your child to drink daily until the cough has gone away.
It Has Vitamins and Minerals
Does your child dread taking their daily vitamins? They may enjoy a spoonful of honey more. Studies have proven that honey contains vitamins and minerals that help a child’s growth, including the development of their GI system and their heart.
Experiment With Recipes
Honey helps and protects kids over two years old in a variety of ways, so make it a fun experience for them by experimenting with recipes. Use it in drinks, on toast, or in muffins to create a sweet and satisfying way for your kids to benefit from all that honey has to offer. I always use it for all my kids and I can see the benefits of it in them. No sickness, they have never been to the hospital.
Honey For Children: When Can You Give Honey To Children?
Honey is a natural sweetener and is hence considered better than sugar. It has moderate nutritional value with a considerable presence of phytochemicals and flavonoids.
Several parents have been moving away from refined sugar towards alternatives such as honey and jaggery. In that context, it is good to know about the nutritional value of honey, how it can be useful for the child, and when you can start giving them honey.
Honey is nutritious, but should only be introduced to children after they are one year old. This is to avoid infant botulism, an illness that may occur due to the consumption of honey by children below the age of one year.
Honey contains spore-forming bacteria called Clostridium botulinum which can multiply in the intestine. The bacteria release toxins that can irritate the little one’s gut since infants have an underdeveloped digestive system that cannot fight off clostridium spores.
Honey is, however, safe for children above one year, as their digestive system is mature enough to expel the bacteria through the body. However, use it as a replacement for refined sugar but not in addition to it.