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Giving honey to babies is not recommended. This is because giving honey to children under 1 year old can cause he alth problems, ranging from tooth decay to serious poisoning
Some parents believe that giving honey to babies can help prevent disease and increase their immune system. In fact, giving any kind of honey to children under 1 year old is actually very risky for their he alth.
The Bad Impact of Giving Honey to Babies
Never give any honey to a child who is not yet one year old. If you eat honey, your baby is at risk for the following he alth problems:
Honey poisoning or botulism
Honey contains Clostridium botulinum bacteria. In children aged 1 year and over, these bacteria are safe for consumption. But for children under 12 months, the bacteria in honey can cause a serious poisoning called botulism. This happens because children aged 1 year and under do not yet have a strong immune system and digestive system to fight these bacteria.
Although it is a rare disease, botulism can be fatal and life threatening. Clostridium botulinum bacteria can attack the baby's nervous system, make his muscles weak and even paralyzed, and threaten his respiratory system.
Mothers need to be aware of some of the symptoms of botulism in babies, namely difficulty defecating, looking weak, having difficulty breathing and swallowing, and crying not as loud as usual. This condition must be treated immediately to avoid fatal complications.
Another reason why honey should not be added to baby foods and drinks is that honey is high in sugar and can damage their new teeth.
Another impact of giving honey to babies is to make them accustomed to sweet tastes. As a result, he will constantly crave sweet foods, and refuse other foods that taste less sweet.
This risks causing children to be overweight or obese as adults, and increases their risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
The Right Time to Introduce Honey to Children
Honey can be given to children if they are more than 1 year old. Mothers can add a little honey to the baby's food and drinks, for example by applying honey to bread or mixing honey with warm milk.
Give the dish to your little one only once, then wait 4 days before giving it again. Observe whether he likes it or not, and whether there are symptoms that appear after he consumes it.
Baby food products that contain honey, such as baby cereal, are safe for consumption even if the child is not yet 1 year old. This is because the bacteria in honey have died due to the heating process. However, if you are worried about its safety, you can consult your pediatrician first.
To avoid botulism or other he alth problems due to honey, it is not recommended for children who are under 1 year old to consume honey. As a natural sweetener for complementary foods for breast milk for babies aged 6 months and over, you can use fruit juice.