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It has been advised that honey is not safe for babies.  Have you ever heard this before? Why can’t babies have honey?  If you’re a parent to a sweet little one, the following information is very important and should be considered before you feed your infant honey.

I Thought Honey Was A Good Thing, So What Is There About It That Harms Babies?

Honey may contain botulism spores.  These spores can also be found in food that hasn’t been canned properly and also foods that contain corn syrup. Before you panic about this, realize that botulism spores can be found in any raw food product.  In fact, raw food of any kind is not recommended for babies.  The reason – an infant’s immune system is not fully developed at this point in their lives. Adults and older children aren’t negatively affected by these spores.  Interestingly enough before 1978 (when scientists discovered botulism spores in honey) it was regularly added to baby’s formula by parents.  Some  doctors even recommended it!

When Can Babies Have Honey?

A baby’s immune system is completely developed around one year of age.  So after their first year.

If I Am Breastfeeding Or Eating Honey, Is There Any Harm To My Infant?

According to

Although the bacterial spores that cause infant botulism are known to occasionally be present in honey, even if a mother was to eat botulism spores in honey, the spores are far too large to pass through her body and into breast milk. Also, botulinum toxin does not pass into breast milk. For this and other reasons, breast milk is not a source of the bacterial spores or the toxin that cause infant botulism. 


In many cultures parents give honey to babies regularly.  Also, the risk of infant botulism is very low; so you may, after weighing all the factors, decide to give your baby honey.  Before you decide on this important issue, it might be a good idea to speak with your child’s pediatrician beforehand.


girl and honey

If I had an infant I would stick with the old adage – “If in doubt, leave it out” when it comes to feeding honey to babies.   And keep in mind that time flies by fast.  Before long your infant will be a toddler and then a rambunctious little one who will just love honey drizzled over his or her breakfast oatmeal to give her lots of energy and good flavor.’

So now you have the answer to the blog post question: Honey for babies – why not good?

What are your thoughts about feeding honey to infants? Do you think honey is bad for babies?


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