Honey is a wholesome and natural food. It is a tasty natural sweetener. However, it is not safe to give to your baby until she is at least 12 months old. Honey may contain spores of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum. The spores can cause botulism in babies below 1 year. These spores are usually harmless to adults and children over 1 year old because they have more mature digestive tracts.
Botulism is a rare but serious illness that attacks the body’s nerves. Symptoms usually start with weakness of the muscles that control the eyes, face, mouth and throat. The weakness may spread to the neck, arms and legs. Furthermore, botulism can also weaken the respiratory muscles leading to difficulty in breathing and even death.
It is not recommended to give processed or raw honey to babies, even if honey is an ingredient in baked and processed foods because Clostridium botulinum spores are relatively heat-resistant.