You’ve read about the benefits of manuka honey — its antibacterial properties, its various uses for health and beauty, and how it’s a natural superfood. And now you’d like to extend all the goodness of taking manuka honey to the rest of your family.
This article answers the often-asked question: “Is manuka honey safe for kids?”.
Yes, manuka honey is safe for kids over the age of 12 months.
Manuka honey is not suitable for babies and infants below 12 months as they are at risk for infant botulism. This is because manuka honey contains bacterial spores which lead to the formation of Clostridium botulinum when consumed. This bacteria produces a toxin that is dangerous to babies and causes infant botulism, which is a type of food poisoning. Babies and infants under 12 months are susceptible to this as their digestive systems are not developed enough to deal with the bacteria.
The symptoms of infant botulism include:
- Muscle fatigue and weakness
- Difficulty breathing
- Weak cry
- Decreased movement
Symptoms can occur between 12 to 72 hours after consumption, and, although severe, infant botulism is treatable.
As such, manuka honey is not recommended for children below 12 months old. As kids develop at different rates, you may want to hold off on giving your child manuka honey until he or she is over 18 months old, in order to avoid any health problems.
Manuka Honey Health Benefits for Children
For children over 12 to 18 months old, manuka honey is completely safe and great for their well-being!
Here are some health benefits your kids will enjoy from regular consumption of manuka honey:
- Manuka honey stimulates the immune system
Research has shown that manuka honey rev ups our immune cells and stimulates cytokine production. Cytokine are chemicals that handle our immune response and can speed up the production of immune-boosting cells.
- Manuka honey fights against bacterial strains
Manuka honey is known for its antibacterial properties which can help your child’s immune system fight off bacterial strains. For instance, manuka honey is effective against Helicobacter pylori and Clostridium difficile, two bacterial strains commonly found in our digestive tract.
- Manuka honey provides vitamins and minerals for good health
A quick glance at the label of a jar of manuka honey will show you its immense nutritional value. Manuka honey is full of vitamins B and C and minerals such as potassium, calcium, zinc and magnesium. Add to that its antibacterial and antioxidant qualities, and you’ve got a wonderful superfood on your hands!
Aside from the 3 health benefits above, you can also use manuka honey as a natural home remedy for minor illnesses such as sore throats and coughs. Manuka honey can also be used to deal with allergies and sinusitis.
The key is to give your children manuka honey in moderation. Be sure to follow the directions on the label for best results! If you’re looking to buy manuka honey in Singapore for your children, check out our Pure New Zealand Manuka Honey UMF 5+.