Is Honey Safe for your kids?

Honey is a nutritionally packed gift from nature. Honey is a natural sweetener packed with minerals, enzymes, and vitamins. Studies have shown that honey has great nutrient value and is healthy for most of us.

For many parents, we are concerned whether honey is something that will benefit kids, whether normal table honey is safe or healthy for children, with all the attention on the harms of sugar even in fruit juices.

On a similar note, we are also worried about fake honey, especially those created by sugar corn syrup to pass off as more expensive specialty honey.

Is it safe to give honey to children?

However, even though honey has so many great benefits for our health, did you know that honey is not safe for infants under one year old?

Do NOT give honey to a baby under the age of 1 because honey can cause botulism for the infant.

For children above one year old, yes, all sort of honey is safe for them. Do read this article on how much health benefits honey can be for kids.

We are going to show you several tips and rules before you decide to give honey to your children. You are probably wondering:- what are the benefits of honey for kids, how much honey can you eat in a day or is it safe to give honey to your kids. We will lay out some of these information in this article.

Honey Benefits For Children

1. Honey as a natural and healthy sweetener and energy booster.

As a parent, you probably understand that your kids have a sweet tooth. And you know that too much sugar can trigger swings in mood and energy levels. As mentioned before, honey can be used as a substitute to sugar, and it is much healthier than processed white sugar that is present in nearly all packaged foods.

Honey is not just a sweetener, it contains vital minerals and enzymes so that your children are not eating empty calories like sugar. One tablespoon of honey contains an estimated amount of 64 calories and provides 17 g of carbohydrates, which comprises of sucrose, glucose, maltose and galactose. Carbohydrates are fuel for your kids to stay energetic all day.

Honey contains many healthy nutrients and contains 11 mg potassium, 1 mg calcium, 1 mg phosphorus and minerals iron, zinc, manganese, fluoride, selenium. Honey also provides 1 mg of vitamin C and B, pantothenic acid, niacin and vitamin B6 as reported by US Department of Agriculture Nutrient.

2. Honey to soothe a sore throat and as a cold remedy

Honey is a natural remedy for cold symptoms. It helps to soothe a sore throat too. To prepare honey as a home remedy you can give this honey home remedy:

  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • ¼ spoon cinnamon powder
  • Mix them in a cup of warm water and let your child drink twice a day daily until the symptoms vanish. It is better to give it during bedtime to give your child a good night sleep.

3. Honey to relieve coughing

One study found that honey works better than two common cough medications and improves sleep. You may prefer to give your kids honey because cough medication contains dextromethorphan and diphenhydramine. Let your kid have a nice warm cup of honey drink instead, or do a cup of the home remedy honey drink listed in (2).

4. Honey to strengthen the immune system

The antibacterial in honey can be used to stimulate the production of immune cells. Additionally, the antibacterial and antioxidant properties in honey are used to fight against germ and bacteria attack. Honey also helps increase your child metabolism.

Just give your child one spoon of honey every day before they start the day!

5. Honey as an ointment

If you ever find your kids with a slight burn or wound, you can use high-grade pure honey to heal it. Just make sure to wash the wound first with water and put on a small drop of honey on the affected area.

However, we will not recommend this if you are unsure of the quality of your honey as not all supermarket brands are high-quality honey. Hospitals that use honey as treatment usually uses medi-grade honey to heal because it is proven that honey helps in healing.

However, for severe burns or wounds, please do visit a doctor for consultation.

6. Honey for Digestion

Honey has anti-bacterial properties that are effective in killing bacteria like E. coli, H. pylori and even salmonella. Honey can regularise bowel movement and provides relief during stomach infections.

You can prepare a cup of black tea and mix it with 1 teaspoon of honey twice daily for children. For younger children, warm water can be used instead of tea.

How much honey can your kids eat in a day?

Sugar intake should not constitute more than 10% of dietary energy. This is the daily recommended sugar limit by age group from Health Promotion Board. As a precaution, we are substituting honey for sugar, because honey is a lot more healthier.

  • Below 12 months: Do NOT give honey in this age group.
  • 1 to 2 years: 7 tsp (35 g) sugar:- that is approximately 2 teaspoons (34 g) honey.
  • 3 to 6 years: 9 tsp (45 g) sugar- approximately 2 1/2 teaspoons (42.5 g) honey.
  • >6 years: 11 tsp (55 g) sugar- approximately 3 teaspoons (51 g) honey.

Tips for using honey

Honey sweet taste is usually loved by everyone. Instead of soda, or sweetened food, we can use honey to mix in children’s water to satisfy their cravings. You can also use honey in cookies, pastries or home dishes as a substitute for sugar.

Remember to store the honey in a closed and a cool place and your honey will have a long shelf life!

Notes on honey allergy or Pollen allergy

Before you decide to introduce this magnificent food called honey, make sure you check your child for honey or pollen allergy. Look out for any sign of discomfort or stomach disorder. It is better to bring your child to their pediatrician just to make sure.

What are the health benefits of honey for children and adult?

Do note that the health benefits of honey for children applies to us adults too! We adults will need the minerals, enzymes, vitamins found in honey as much as kids.

When we are sick with a cough, cold, sore throat etc, the honey drink or tablespoon of honey we give to our kids works wonders on us too.

Honey can be consumed raw or cooked, mixed in your drinks or food. Not only that, honey can be used to substitute white sugar, giving you a better and healthier choice. However, honey is still sugar and has calorie and should be consumed in moderation.

Conclusion

So, is honey safe for your children? Should you start giving it to them?

To sum it up, honey has many great benefits for your children and is safe, if you give it in moderation. Always remember to give your child honey as needed, not going over the sugar daily intake recommendation. Look for signs of allergy or discomfort after they consume honey. If your child suffers from some medical conditions, talk to their doctor or health specialist for more information.

This article is from Manuka Honey Singapore (Chinese version in Manuka Honey HongKong). The writers are also cofounders of Seniorcare.

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