At what age can you give honey to your child?
Honey is a useful product that adults often use to replace sweets and in the treatment of various diseases. At the time of our grandmothers, honey without fear was given to the smallest (for example, they lubricated the nipple) and added to tea for a cold. Nowadays, attitudes towards the inclusion of honey in the children's diet have changed. Therefore, modern mothers should know how old it is to give honey to babies and whether such a beekeeping product is useful for the child's body.
The benefits of honey
The use of honey promotes active growth and the overall development of the child’s body.
- Since honey is a source of ascorbic acid and carotene, such a product is useful for immunity. With regular use of honey, children get sick much less often, and their bodies stand firm against attacks of viruses, thanks to which they are protected from the common cold, pharyngitis and other diseases. Especially often to stimulate the defenses using a recipe in which honey is combined with ginger and lemon.
- Honey has the ability to improve the composition of blood. Under its influence, the amount of hemoglobin increases and the child's well-being with anemia improves.
- Honey has a soothing and relaxing effect. Its use helps to quickly fall asleep in the evening and sleep soundly all night.
- The positive effect of honey on the digestive tract is known. The use of such a product contributes to better digestion of food and its digestion, which prevents the putrefactive processes in the intestine.
- Due to the analgesic and antiseptic effect, honey is often used for stomatitis.
- Honey is also quite popular at temperature, since such a product has a diaphoretic and antipyretic effect. Most often, with ARVI with a high temperature, honey is added to cooled tea or warm milk.
- Thanks to honey, calcium and magnesium are better absorbed in the baby’s body, which has a positive effect on the condition of bones and teeth, and also prevents the appearance of scoliosis in schoolchildren.
- Honey has the ability to improve eyesight. and increase its sharpness.
- If you give honey to a student, he will more successfully absorb learning material.
- Use honey as a treat less harmful to teeth than sugar.
- If the child will regularly use honey at enuresis, it will help eliminate this problem.
Expectorant effect of honey is actively used when it is necessary to cure a cough. Such a sweet product actively affects this symptom of colds and other respiratory diseases.
Read more about the use of honey in the treatment of diseases in children, see the following video.
Some parents are surprised that there are age restrictions for exploring honey, because they are sure that such a natural product cannot be harmful.
However, sometimes honey can be dangerous to the health of the toddler:
- Active substances in the composition of honey can cause allergies in the child.
- Honey can cause botulism if the spores of a pathogen are caught in nectar during its collection. Such an infectious disease affects the nervous system and is very dangerous for a child’s life.
- Fructose, which is contained in honey, can linger in the mouth, adversely affect the mucous membrane and provoke caries, so after eating such a sweet product, you should rinse your mouth.
- Since honey is a source of simple carbohydrates, this product should be limited to excess weight.
At what age can you give honey to a child
To understand when you can introduce a child with honey, you should consider the following points:
- The quality of this product at the time of our grandmothers was, without a doubt, high, and it is difficult to say exactly how honey is collected and produced today. The composition of the store or market honey does not always correspond to what is written on the jar, so when buying, parents can be said to play the lottery.
- Even honey obtained from acquaintances straight from the apiary can harm babies. Primarily due to the high concentration of useful substances.
- The ecological situation is gradually deteriorating, so you can’t be sure that you give your child honey from flowers that did not grow in a polluted place.
- Over the past few decades, the frequency of allergic reactions in children has doubled, which is associated with environmental degradation and the frequent use of chemicals in the food industry. And since honey is classified as a highly allergenic product, it becomes clear why it should not be given to babies, and the one-year-old child should be introduced into the diet with extreme caution.
General recommendations of doctors regarding the age at which you can taste honey for children are as follows:
- Before the year to give such a product is impossible.
- Babies aged 1-3 can try honey, but this is not recommended by most pediatricians.
- Three years of age is the limit, after which physicians are allowed to include honey in the children's diet. In this case, the product should be given in a small dose and quite rarely.
- From the age of 6, honey in the absence of allergy can be included in the child’s menu more often.
As you can see, if possible, delay acquaintance with honey until the age of 6-7 years will be the best solution. If the parents themselves often use honey and want to treat the child with this sweetness from the age of 3, you can try to give this product in small quantities.
In a situation when mothers or grandmothers start giving honey to children under 3 years old, they act at their own risk, since it is impossible to predict the reaction of the baby to this product. In many cases, babies perceive this natural sweetness well, but there are also opposite situations when honey turns into a real problem.
Opinion of Dr. Komarovsky
The famous doctor is sure that honey should not be in the diet of children of the first year of life. Komarovsky believes that giving a baby under 12 months such a product is very risky, because the effect is unpredictable.
According to the popular pediatrician, children older than a year can give honey in small quantities to replace other sweets. It is important not to overdo it with the number and be especially careful if the parents are allergic to honey or poorly tolerated by bee stings.
Komarovsky gives his comment on the inclusion of honey in the children's diet in the following video.
Features of the introduction to the children's diet of honey
- To treat a child from the very beginning with pure honey is not recommended. At the first sample, the product is desirable to add to the usual dishes.
- A good option would be to add a few drops of honey to the water the child drinks. If there is no reaction to such a drink, the dosage can be increased.
- Most often honey is added to tea, but such a drink should in no case be hot, because honey cannot be heated.
- You can also mix honey for a child with kefir or cottage cheese.
- Daily use of honey should be no longer than 1 month, after which a break of 2-3 weeks is required.
- If the child refuses to try honey, to insist and force such a product to be inadmissible.
How much to give honey to the child
- If a mother risks to treat honey to a baby aged 1-3 years old, a portion of this delicacy per day should not exceed half a teaspoon. However, it is advised to divide it into 2-3 doses.
- Children 3-5 years old per day can give up to 20 grams of honey (a little more than a tablespoon). The daily dose of such a sweet product is also advised to be divided into several times.
- At the age of 6-9 years, it is permissible to increase the daily dose of honey to 50 grams (slightly more than 3 tablespoons).
- For children over 9 years old, the amount of honey consumed per day can be increased to 80 grams (this is about 5 tablespoons).
Honey does not give the child:
- At the age of one year.
- With exudative diathesis.
- With individual intolerance to the product.
- With diabetes.
How does honey allergy manifest itself
The most common allergic reaction after consuming honey is represented by skin rashes. They are in the form of small rashes or rather large blisters.
In addition, the skin may redden or become edematous. How does the urticaria, provoked by even a small amount of honey, you can see in the photo.
Also, the child may experience a reaction from the respiratory system, such as shortness of breath, coughing, sneezing, chest pain, sore throat, or a runny nose. Sometimes an allergy to honey manifests itself in the tongue and lips, profuse tearing, dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, fever, and headaches.
If any warning signs appear after consuming honey, consult a doctor immediately. The pediatrician will prescribe the necessary medications, and the inclusion of honey in the diet will have to be refused.
How to choose honey for a child
If you plan to give honey to children, buy only natural and fresh product. It can be represented by different varieties:
- Brown buckwheat honey many children do not like, because it has a specific taste with bitterness. However, such honey is considered the best option for colds or anemia.
- Most babies like acacia and donovy honey varieties because they are tasty and smell good. Acacia honey is considered less allergenic than other species. Such a product has a marked expectorant and sedative effect.
- Yellow lime tree honey is also loved by many for its mild taste and pleasant aroma. Due to its bactericidal properties, it is often given to children with colds.
Try to buy honey from a proven beekeeper, as such a product on the market may be a fake (mixed with sugar).
In natural honey, the consistency will initially be liquid, and by the end of autumn the product begins to crystallize, after which it does not return to the liquid state. In addition, natural honey will not flake, and if you drop it on a sheet of paper, it will not spread to the sides.
For details on the properties of honey, see the following videos.