why do babies have to eat honey in the first place ? if you want to feed your baby honey go ahead, but if it dies you're gonna feel awful silly.
i don't know if it is safe or dangerous or something in between, but it seems to me that if there is the slightest risk why do it ? babies don't have a complete immune system like adults do so they are more susceptible to a number of problems that most adult immune systems can handle better. so i would tend to lean towards the better safe than sorry approach. i also grew up eating dirt and unwashed fruits and vegetables, stepping on rusty nails and chicken or goose poop, wrapping wounds with paper towels and electrical tape that should have gotten stitches or at the very least a good cleaning and all the other things that are bad for you today, but it was mostly done out of ignorance. i still don't clean my cuts properly, but i gave up eating dirt for the most part.
I agree with all the above. We didn't do honey or peanuts when our babies were under 2. Too many other foods to have a pressing reason to introduce those two. Plus, we avoided all sugars until they were old enough to ask for it, including honey.
Not sure how I'd do it today. I'd have to research it more thoroughly. In general, our kids should have guts of steel with all the germs and dirt we get from eating food straight from the dirt.
ETA: Not sure why this thread has gotten so heated. I sell eggs and vegetables, and if I freaked every time someone told me eggs, potatoes and corn were bad for their health, I wouldn't have many customers left. People have all sorts of ideas about diet, and many of them are not based on much but the latest magazine article or fad diet. Shrug.
I certainly don't have a problem with a person making a choice on how to raise their own children. I firmly believe it's every parent's right. My initial spin-up came from the umpteeth time since I've started keeping bees where "friends" started yelling and screaming that I was a horrible person for offering honey to my family (I've lots of new nieces and nephews). I feel if you want to "correct" someone publicly, then you most certainly better have qualified your argument with facts instead of a distinct lack of them. This is the core of what got me spun up in the first place. These people know my background, and should
know that I wouldn't be going out and offering something (for free) to someone else if I believed there to be the slightest risk to them. If those people determine the risk to be too great and turn down the offer, that's certainly not a problem. Again, that's their choice. But when a third party attacks me with a myth based on bad information, it really gets under my skin.
On a much broader scope, in modern society, there's a ridiculous push to eliminate all bacteria from our diets and environments "coz bacturra's bad." I personally firmly believe that this is directly related to the autoimmune disorders that are so much more prevalent today. The anti-honey craziness is just a small portion of this overarching problem. Immune systems cannot be strengthened
without exposure to bacteria. Yet we're the only species that have gone out of our way to eliminate those exposures at every possible point, even to the point of putting our children in a bubble precisely when it's most important for their immune systems to develop. They have the natural "passive" immunity from their mothers when they're just a few months old, and this passive immunity can be strengthened through breast feeding. This is precisely when the baby's immune systems should be developing by
exposure to natural external exposures: While they still have passive immunity. Retarding the development of the immune system until they have no
immunity isn't how nature intended it, nor does it make logical "common sense". But this is an entirely new can of worms that I could be opening here.
But this actually brings me back to my theory
on why honey is actually good
for very young children. Besides all of the other benefits that adults enjoy, the natural sugars are easier on the baby's underdeveloped digestive system, and IF there are LOCAL spores/pollen/bacteria/etc. in the honey, it can help the baby develop those immunities to the local environment while it still has the passive immunization.
Then there's the well documented antibacterial and antiviral aspects of the honey. Doctors recommend that babies be given their first immunizations at the age of 2 months for the very reason that the passive immunity will soon go away. These vaccinations are almost exclusively the "killed" form of whatever virus they're vaccinating against (they are chemically "inactivated", with chemicals such as formalin). Local honey would (again, theoretically and logically), precisely and naturally
mirror this vaccination by killing any bacteria and viruses that the bees have picked up. In theory, one could create a vaccine by growing the viral/bacterial cultures, mixing them with honey, giving the honey enough time to kill it off, then consuming it orally. For obvious reasons, this one would need to be thoroughly tested before I'd EVER recommend anyone give it a shot
, but the theory is sound. I will tell you this, though. Streptococcus and Staph cultures, mixed with honey, left for two days, and then separated from the honey with a quarter-normal saline solution (half as salty as the human body) and returned to a petri dish will not grow. Again, hardly a conclusive test, but these are the kinds of weird hobbies I have. (As a side note, while never testing my honey specifically for botulin spores, I have never had any other bacterial growth come from the honey, either).
While they're still doing research on precisely HOW the honey kills bacteria and viruses, we do know that it's a different mechanism than how our current antibiotics work. (Current antibiotics disrupt the formation of cell walls - destroying the structure - so creating a vaccine with bacteria treated with antibiotics is unable to produce the same immune response). Honey seems to kill the pathogens without destroying their structure, which again, in theory, would make it ideal for vaccine production. Perhaps one of the many reasons that honey was used for centuries for babies was because it was the closest thing to a natural vaccine we had, and we didn't know it? But for this reason, it's also why the presence of the spores in the honey (the same spores found in almost every single food source out there) may in fact be a GOOD thing, but past history has shown it's never
been proven to be a BAD thing.
As a total side note, I do have one nephew that's allergic to nearly everything. Peanuts, milk, etc. I always recommend that ANYONE dilute whatever new food they're trying to feed their baby, and give it in VERY small amounts, and closely monitor for any signs of distress. And this is *any* new food. Not just honey.
So yeah, probably way TL;DR, but this is where I'm coming from. And I didn't call anyone any names this time.