Is it safe to give my baby honey?

29 Mar 2016


Don't give your baby any honey before she's a year old, even if it's to treat a cough.

This is because honey can, very occasionally, contain a spore of a bacterium called clostridium botulinum. This can cause a rare form of food poisoning (botulism) in babies. If your baby has botulism, he may start to show symptoms around eight hours to 36 hours after eating honey. Phone your doctor straight away if your baby has eaten honey, and then has the following:
      •  constipation
      •  listlessness
      •  a lack of appetite

Another reason not to add honey or sugar to your baby's foods and drinks is because they can be damaging to his emerging teeth. They may also encourage a sweet tooth. If you would like to add more flavour to your baby's food, such as baby rice or plain yogurt, try adding fruit, mashed banana, or dried fruit. These foods are naturally sweet and also contain valuable vitamins and minerals.

It's also best to not give your baby fruit smoothies or sweetened yoghurts. Some yoghurts and smoothies contain honey to sweeten it. Heat treatment during production may have killed any bacteria present, but these products still contain high amounts of sugar.



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