5 Honey Health Benefits for Children Over 2 | Sunshine House (2023)

Can honey be healthy for your children? Yes! While deceptively sweet, this golden nectar is packed full of healthy and helpful properties for growing kids.

Honey is naturally sweet thanks to the hard work of pollinating bees. This sweetener was consumed by ancient civilizations in Egypt, Greece, Rome, India, and more for its healing powers. The ancient secret of honey’s medicinal properties is now well known, and your family can benefit from it, too.

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While delicious, honey should never be given to children under 1 and it’s not recommended for children under 2 years old. Honey contains toxic bacteria that may cause infant botulism, a serious form of food poisoning that can end in death. There is also a risk of pollen allergies developed from honey. While this is scary, once your child is at least 2 there are plenty of health benefits that make honey a staple in any kitchen.

Whenever possible, opt for certified organic honey instead of local honey or commercial honey. Local honey comes with a greater risk of pollen allergy. Commercial honey usually contains pesticide and other chemicals. Look at the label to ensure the ingredients in your honey are good for your child.

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Once you’ve picked up some organic honey, you can start using it as a sweetener in tea or add it to your favorite recipe for a sweet twist (in moderation, of course!).

So, what are the health benefits of honey for your kids?

1. It gives them long lasting energy

Honey is primarily made of three types of sugar: sucrose, glucose, and fructose. Each of these sugars is used by our bodies differently—sucrose and glucose are digested quickly and cause a spike in blood sugar. Fructose in honey, however, remains in the system longer and gives your kids steady energy. This way, they’re alert but not bouncing off the walls like they are with other sugary snacks.

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2. It contains needed vitamins and minerals

There aren’t many ingredients in a bottle of honey, but it's packed full of needed vitamins and minerals that will benefit your growing children. Honey also contains amino acids that help your kids grow and develop.

3. It protects their liver from damage

Honey acts as a shield for the liver against certain diseases and damage. It is proven to decrease the side effects of paracetamol doses, which can induce liver damage. Paracetamol is found in common pain relievers such as Tylenol and Panadol. If your child is sick, a spoonful of honey will help the medicine go down and protect them from harm.

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4. It helps wounds heal faster

As unusual as that sounds, applying honey to your kid's scrapes and cuts will help them heal faster. Recent findings have shown notable healing effects of honey in comparison to wounds not treated. Honey speeds up the healing process and can help soothe the irritated skin.

5. It calms down coughs

Did your mom ever add honey and lemon to your tea when you had a cough as a kid? It turns out there is scientific evidence to back up this remedy. Honey acts as a soothing agent on your child’s sore and irritated throat, silencing their cough. A spoonful of honey will also help if your child has difficulty swallowing because of a sore throat.

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Despite its sweet nature, honey can really pack a healthy punch! Including a serving of honey into your child’s diet can make them not only healthier, but also feel better. With recipes that include honey, your family will never bee disappointed.

FAQs

What does honey do to children under 2? ›

Clostridium bacteria that cause infant botulism usually thrive in soil and dust. They also can contaminate some foods — honey, in particular. Infant botulism can cause muscle weakness, with signs like poor sucking, a weak cry, constipation, and decreased muscle tone (floppiness).

What are the 5 benefits of honey? ›

Studies suggest that honey might offer antidepressant, anticonvulsant and anti-anxiety benefits. In some studies, honey has been shown to help prevent memory disorders. Wound care. Topical use of medical-grade honey has been shown to promote wound healing, particularly in burns.

Why can't kids have honey before 2? ›

Infant botulism is caused by a toxin (a poison) from Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which live in soil and dust. The bacteria can get on surfaces like carpets and floors and also can contaminate honey. That's why babies younger than 1 year old should never be given honey.

Does honey boost immunity in kids? ›

Honey is an excellent source of energy that helps strengthen your child's immunity by providing your child with essential vitamins and minerals such as niacin, vitamin B6, riboflavin, etc. The powerful antioxidants present in honey also help boost energy levels in your body and strengthen the immune system.

What does honey do in children body? ›

Honey acts as a soothing agent on your child's sore and irritated throat, silencing their cough. A spoonful of honey will also help if your child has difficulty swallowing because of a sore throat. Despite its sweet nature, honey can really pack a healthy punch!

Is it OK to give honey to kids everyday? ›

Once your toddler is two, the AAP recommends they have no more than 25 grams, or 6 teaspoons, of added sugars daily. Honey can be used in place of sugar as long as it doesn't exceed the recommended amount.

What are the top 10 health benefits of honey? ›

Here are the top 10 health benefits of honey.
  • Honey contains nutrients beneficial to health. ...
  • Raw honey is rich in antioxidants. ...
  • Using honey to replace table sugar helps improve diabetes. ...
  • The antioxidants in honey help lower blood pressure. ...
  • Honey helps improve cholesterol. ...
  • Honey helps reduce triglyceride levels.

What is the health benefits of honey? ›

According to one review, honey may help lower blood pressure, improve blood fat levels, regulate your heartbeat, and prevent the death of healthy cells — all factors that can improve your heart function and health ( 6 ).

What are the 10 uses of honey? ›

10 Uses of Pure and Raw Honey
  • Healthy alternative to Sugar. Honey can replace sugar in baking, cooking and beverages. ...
  • Treating burns and wounds. Honey can be used to treat burns and wounds. ...
  • Acne cure. ...
  • Immunity from pollen allergies. ...
  • Natural cough syrup. ...
  • Improves digestion. ...
  • Hair conditioning. ...
  • Lip Balm.
Oct 8, 2019

Can I give my 4 year old a spoonful of honey? ›

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.

How much honey can a toddler have per day? ›

What Amount of Honey Should I Give My Baby?
Amount of Honey to Give Your Baby, Based on Age
Under 1 yearNo honey at all
1 to 2 yearsLittle to no honey
2 years and upWithin the limit of 6 teaspoons of added sugar daily
Dec 15, 2021

Is raw honey safe for 4 year old? ›

No. Honey is not a safe food for babies because it can put your child at risk for infant botulism. If your child is older than 12 months of age, it's generally accepted to be okay to offer a small amount of honey from a reliable source.

Is a spoonful of honey a day good for you? ›

Taking one spoonful of honey every day can have numerous benefits to your health. Honey has been used for its nutritional value since ancient times. It has also been found to be beneficial in the treatment of many clinical conditions. The main nutrients in honey are carbohydrates in the form of glucose and fructose.

How good is honey for your immune system? ›

[78] Honey induces leukocytes to release cytokines, which is what begins the tissue repair cascades. Furthermore, it actives immune response to infection. [79] The stimulation of other properties of the immune response by honey is also reported (Proliferation of B- and T-lymphocytes and the phagocytes activity).

How much honey is good for kids? ›

One teaspoon of honey has 20 to 30 calories. For kids to meet their total daily calorie requirements add it in their meals. One can even opt for low glycemic index honey such as acacia for overall health benefits.

How many times can I give my child honey for a cough? ›

Dose: 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) four times per day when coughing. Under 3 months, see your child's doctor. Caution: Do not use honey until 1 year old.

Does honey help in speech? ›

To strengthen the tongue and lips, put honey or a sweet, sticky food on the upper and lower lips.

Which honey has the most health benefits? ›

Raw: Raw honey comes straight from the hive. “Raw honey is the least processed and probably has the most antioxidants,” Ilic says.

What does honey represent in the Bible? ›

What is the meaning of honey in the Bible?” In the Bible, honey is mentioned 61 times and its meaning is often associated with prosperity and abundance. In the third chapter of Exodus, when God called Moses to lead the slaves out of Egypt, he called him to lead them to a land that will flow with milk and honey.

Is honey actually healthier? ›

Though honey is high in sugar and calories, it's still a better choice than refined sugar. While refined sugar brings little to the table in terms of nutrition, honey provides antioxidants — including phenolic acids and flavonoids ( 3 , 4 ).

What kind of vitamins are in honey? ›

Some of the vitamins found in honey include ascorbic acid, pantothenic acid, niacin and riboflavin; along with minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.

Is honey good for the heart? ›

It's high in antioxidants, such as phenolic acids and flavonoids, which may support better health. Small studies in humans show honey's antioxidants could help improve cholesterol levels, which could help decrease the risk for heart disease, although larger long-term studies are needed to confirm those findings.

What are three facts about honey? ›

A honey bee worker only makes an average of 1/12 of a teaspoon in her lifetime. One ounce of honey would fuel a bees flight around the world. A pound honey is made by 2 million flower visits. The bees fly 55,000 miles back and forth to bring that honey.

What kind of honey is good for cough? ›

A study published in 2007 evaluated buckwheat honey and found it to be superior to no treatment and equal to honey-flavored dextromethorphan in reducing cough severity and improving sleep for children and their parents.

How do I get rid of my 3 year olds cough? ›

It could be due to post-nasal drip from the back of your child's throat.
  1. Use saline nasal drops. You can buy these over-the-counter nasal drops at a pharmacy. ...
  2. Offer fluids. ...
  3. Offer honey. ...
  4. Elevate your child's head when sleeping. ...
  5. Add moisture with a humidifier. ...
  6. Talk a walk in cold air. ...
  7. Apply vapor rub. ...
  8. Use essential oils.
Aug 30, 2018

Can toddlers have honey for a cough? ›

For coughing:

Do not give infants under 1 year honey; it will not help with symptoms and can cause a sickness called infant botulism. For children 1 year and older: Consider using honey, 2 to 5 mL, as needed. The honey thins the mucus and loosens the cough.

Does honey help toddlers sleep? ›

In this study, parents reported greater improvements in both the quality of their own sleep and that of their children's sleep after receiving honey.

Does honey reduce cough? ›

Drinking tea or warm lemon water mixed with honey is a time-honored way to soothe a sore throat. But honey alone may be an effective cough suppressant, too. In one study, children ages 1 to 5 with upper respiratory tract infections were given up to 2 teaspoons (10 milliliters) of honey at bedtime.

How much honey is too much per day? ›

“Honey should be treated like all added sugars, something to include in your diet carefully and kept to a minimum,” Keating says. The American Heart Association recommends that men consume no more than nine teaspoons (36 grams) per day; women and children, no more than six teaspoons (24 grams) daily.

Can honey cure infections? ›

The application of honey can promote the healing in infected wounds that do not respond to the conventional therapy, i.e., antibiotics and antiseptics[18], including wounds infected with methicillin-resistant S. aureus[19],[20].

What is the best time to eat honey? ›

Usually the doctors recommend honey to be taken empty stomach early in the morning as it gives an instant kick and energy boost which is enough to counter an entire day. Also, while going to bed, a spoonful of honey not only gives a good night's sleep but also helps in digestion and relaxation of mind and body.

Does honey give you energy? ›

Honey provides quick energy and is a source of carbohydrates. At approximately 17 grams of carbohydrates and 64 calories per tablespoon, it is ideal for a quick pick-me-up since carbohydrates are the primary fuel the body uses for energy.

What does honey do to your brain? ›

Research suggests that honey supplementation can have protect from neuroinflammation, reduce oxidative stress, and increase brain-derived neurotrophic factors. On a cognitive level, honey has been shown to improve memory and learning, slow down cognitive decline associated with aging and reduce anxiety.

Does honey cleanse your body? ›

Drinking honey helps the body cleanse various types of toxins that may exist due to our unhealthy urban lifestyle. Having natural anti-bacterial properties, honey can also be applied to your skin to prevent or treat acne. It is also extremely soothing and moisturizing such that it helps to create a glow to your skin.

Does honey clean out your system? ›

Honey consists of imperative properties that helps in the detox process to hasten up the process and prove it to be more effective. The antimicrobial properties in honey helps in the detox process which is due to the low pH value, thickness, and hydrogen peroxide.

What should I do if my baby eats honey? ›

If your baby has any symptoms of botulism and has recently consumed honey, you should treat it as an emergency. Head to your local emergency room as soon as possible.
...
The most common symptoms of botulism include:
  1. weakness, floppiness.
  2. poor feeding.
  3. constipation.
  4. lethargy.
Apr 4, 2018

Can a 2 year old have honey for cough? ›

For coughing:

Do not give infants under 1 year honey; it will not help with symptoms and can cause a sickness called infant botulism. For children 1 year and older: Consider using honey, 2 to 5 mL, as needed. The honey thins the mucus and loosens the cough.

How much honey is safe for a 2 year old? ›

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.

Should honey be refrigerated? ›

Do not refrigerate honey. Keeping your honey in the refrigerator preserves it but the cool temperatures will cause your honey to form a semi-solid mass, so this method of storage is not recommended.

Is honey an antibacterial? ›

Honey exhibits a broad-spectrum of antibacterial activity against both Gram-positive bacteria and Gram-negative bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant (MRSA) ones. Honey has been shown to have a strong activity against many bacteria in both media and in culture.

Does honey expire? ›

In general, honey doesn't spoil. However, it can go bad if it's contaminated or incorrectly stored. If your honey has visible mold, or if it smells fermented or "off," then it's time to toss it.

Does all honey have botulism? ›

Honey can contain the bacteria that causes infant botulism, so do not feed honey to children younger than 12 months. Honey is safe for people 1 year of age and older. Learn more about infant botulism from the Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Program.

How rare is botulism from honey? ›

According to microbiologic testing, up to 25 percent of honey products have been found to contain spores. A history of honey consumption is seen in 15 percent of the botulism cases reported to the CDC. As a result, honey should not be given to infants younger than one year.

Why do babies avoid grass? ›

The prickly texture and feel of grass are far different than the softer and more comfortable feeling of carpet, tile, and wood surfaces on their feet, hands, and body, so babies are often scared of it,” pediatrician Dr.

What helps a child with a stuffy nose? ›

Saline spray or drops given every few hours can help clear up nasal passages, thin the mucus, and shrink swollen tissues – and unlike cold medications, it's safe for babies and kids of all ages. Running a cool mist vaporizer at night in your child's bedroom can also help as well. Grab Some Tissues.

Does honey help with mucus? ›

Well, despite it's own gooey texture, honey can actually be effective at breaking up mucus. In a World Health Organization (WHO) report on the treatment of upper respiratory infections for children, the org notes honey as a demulcent, meaning that it can help relieve irritation of the mucous membranes in your mouth.

What can I give my 2 year old for a sore throat? ›

To soothe a sore throat, for children:
  • For children over age 1, give warm fluids like water, herbal tea with honey, or diluted apple juice. ...
  • For children over age 4, give throat or cough lozenges or use throat sprays.

How many times can I give honey to my toddler for cough? ›

Dose: 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 mL) four times per day when coughing. Under 3 months, see your child's doctor. Caution: Do not use honey until 1 year old.

Can I give my 2 year old honey and lemon? ›

When your baby is sick, add a bit of lemon and honey to their water for a boost to their immune system. Plus, they get the treat of a sweet drink that's similar to juice. Just make sure you don't offer honey until after 12 months of age since it may cause a type of food poisoning called botulism.

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