You may have read that honey should not be fed to babies who are under a year old. This is because honey is one of the foods that may cause a rare illness called botulism in infants.
Botulism is a rare but serious illness that is caused by toxins that attack the nerves present in the body. Most parents may have heard of infant botulism being linked with contaminated food.
Let’s now examine how honey may pose a threat to babies under one year and understand the severity of the illness.
Honey And Infant Botulism
As mentioned earlier, infant botulism is a life-threatening condition that usually affects babies who are under the age of one. This disease is usually caused by the presence of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum.1 This bacteria is a spore-forming organism that is found in soil and certain foods.
Honey may contain the bacteria that can release toxins if ingested by the
As the baby gets older, the digestive and immune systems develop well and can eliminate the bacteria before it can cause any harm to their health. So, it is always better to start including honey in food after their first birthdays.
Therefore, it is best not to feed your baby honey until they are a year old. In addition, honey is a form of sugar and feeding them too much honey may result in tooth decay as well.
As a parent, it is important to keep an eye out for any difference in your baby’s behavior or body functions. Let’s examine the signs and symptoms
Infant Botulism: Signs And Symptoms
Some symptoms of infant botulism may be mild while others may be severe. The following are some of the most common symptoms of infant botulism:3
- A weakened cry
- Loss of facial expression
- A decreased gag reflex
- Slow feeding
- Overall weakness or floppiness
When contaminated food is the cause of botulism, children may also show certain signs that parents should be aware of. The following symptoms are shown by children after consuming contaminated food:4
- Weak feeling
- Blurred or double vision
- A dry mouth
- Weak or drooping eyelids
- Difficulty swallowing and speaking
Unfortunately, honey is not the only source that may cause botulism. Some also report that corn syrups may cause similar symptoms in babies. Being around contaminated soil and breathing the air containing the spores of the disease-causing bacteria may also cause infant botulism.
If feeding your baby is a
Tips To Remember While Feeding Your Baby
Feeding time may be a challenge for a lot of parents. However, with patience, you may be able to learn how to feed them the right way. Here are a few tips that may help with the feeding process.
- Breast milk is the best nutrition you can give your baby at least for the first six months.
- Avoid force-feeding your baby their food.
- Feed your baby solid foods when they are over six months old.
- Place a small amount of food at a time on your baby’s plate to avoid wasting food.
- Avoid foods that may cause your baby to choke like nuts, grapes, popcorn, etc.
So, it is always better to avoid feeding your baby honey and products that may have it as an ingredient until they are at least a year old. Make sure you speak to the