When can babies eat honey?

20 December, 2020


          
            baby bee in honeycomb

 

Scottish honey has a wonderfully unique taste, aroma and healing properties so it’s no surprise we are often asked, when can babies eat honey? The joy of seeing your baby try new flavours and textures is next to none but paediatrics and experts do advise against feeding them honey before they are 12 months old. We will explore why this is the case and assure you when is safe to feed your little one the sweet goodness!

Why babies can’t eat honey

Occasionally, bacteria can be found in honey that can produce toxins in a baby’s intestines, leading to an illness known as ‘infant botulism’. This is caused when the baby consumes the ‘botulism’ spores. The bacteria themselves are harmless, they actually only become toxic when encountered with immature intestines. To be able to consume honey with no potential harmful effect, younger baby’s digestive system must firstly develop to fight off and protect against the bacteria that causes infant botulism. 

The UK’s high standard of food hygiene means the likelihood of picking up food-borne botulism in this country are very slim. Since being tested and kitemarked by the BSI, our Heather Honey is guaranteed free of pesticides, GMOs and any nasty toxins. The quality and standard of our products remains at the heart of everything we do, however we always advise listening to the experts first.

When can babies eat honey

Experts recommend introducing honey into your baby’s diet after their first birthday. That includes honey in its raw form and any foods or baked goods with honey as an ingredient. Perhaps you are wondering if that means all honey is ‘contaminated’, or why it can be harmful for babies under the age of 1 but harmless to adults? The botulism bacteria does not mean a honey supply is contaminated. As kids get older, their digestive system matures and is able to move bacteria through the body before it causes any harm. This means the bacteria spore that can cause infant botulism, would be fine with older children and adults. It is good to bare in mind that although honey is very natural, it is a form of sugar, so it is best to hold off with younger children to avoid tooth decay too.

To keep your little one healthy and safe, wait until their first birthday has been celebrated before possibly introducing honey. There are plenty years ahead to enjoy the health benefits and endless combinations that honey can be used in!

Check out some of our quick links here to further reading at the guardian, pampers, and advice from the NHS here and here.

Why not buy your little one a cute cuddly bee toy instead, and then move them onto honey when they are ready? Click here to see all our gifts. 

 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/baby/weaning-and-feeding/foods-to-avoid-giving-babies-and-young-children/

https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/when-can-babies-eat-honey#benefits

https://www.parents.com/baby/feeding/when-can-my-baby-eat-honey/

https://www.verywellfamily.com/when-can-babies-have-honey-284244

https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/honey-botulism.html

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