Babies CAN’T eat honey as it can contain spores of a bacteria Costridium botulinium, which can grow and multiply in your baby’s intestines. This produces a dangerous toxin that causes infant botulism, a rare, but potentially fatal illness.
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Are Processed Foods Also a Risk?
Raw honey is the biggest concern, but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also advises that processed foods containing honey should NOT be given to infants.
Babycenter.com also warns that baked goods should not be sweetened with honey for babies as the bacteria spores are difficult to kill even at elevated temperatures.
Symptoms of Infant Botulism
According to WebMD, infant botulism occurs most often in babies under six months old. The symptoms below can be mild or severe and can include:
- Overall weakness or floppiness
- Slow feeding
- Loss of facial expression
- Reduced gag reflex
When Can Babies Have Honey?
Honey is a great natural sweetener, and it is known in many cultures to have healing benefits such as soothing sore throats and helping suppress a cough.
However, honey is considered an added sugar. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that you not give children under the age of 2 any added sugars at all. Once your toddler is two, you can offer no more than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of added sugars daily. Honey can be used in place of sugar if it doesn’t exceed the recommended amount.