When can my baby eat honey & yoghurt?
Although honey and yoghurt seem like natural and wholesome foods for your baby, when to introduce these foods to your baby must be carefully considered.
Honey can contain spores of a bacterium called Clostridium botulinum, which can germinate in a baby’s immature digestive system and cause infant botulism.
Botulism neurotoxins prevent neurotransmitters from functioning properly. This means that they inhibit motor control and can lead to paralysis in babies and even death. These spores are usually harmless to adults and children over 1 year old, because the microorganisms normally found in the intestine keep the bacteria from growing.
Honey is increasing being used as a sweetener to many common products such as breakfast cereals and even in baby food. Honey found in baby food are safe for your baby as they have been heated up enough to kill spores. We suggest that you read labels carefully and avoid giving babies under 12 months of age honey or products that contain honey.
Constipation along with muscle weakness, trouble sucking, slack jaw, or crying and lethargy – are common symptoms of infant Botulism. See your doctor immediately if your baby displays symptoms after consumption or suspected consumption of honey.
The common question – Why can my baby eat yoghurt but can only have cows milk after they are 12 month sold? Nutritional balance is the answer. Between the age of 4 – 6 months – usually the age when babies begin eating solids – breast milk or formula still makes up most of their diet which is packed with nutrients they require to grow. Plain cows milk by contrast, does not and too much calcium from cow’s milk will slow down iron absorption.
Your baby is unable to consume the quantities of yoghurt to make them iron deficient – by contrast they are able to drink enough cows milk to consume calcium.
During the first year iron rich solid foods are a relatively small part of your babies diet, so introducing cows milk during this period isn’t a good idea. However after the age of 12 months your baby should be eating a variety of iron rich foods at which time cows’ milk can be a larger part of his diet.
A few “don’ts”
- Don’t sweeten yoghurt with sugar or honey.
- Don’t give your baby low fat or fat free yoghurt before the age of 2, unless avised so by your doctor.
- Don’t make yoghurt a main feature of your babies diet.
- Don’t serve flavoured yogurt to your baby. Buy plain yogurt and add fruit at home if you like. Almost all commercial yogurts are sweetened with sugar or another sweetener. If there’s sweetener in it, leave it on the shelf.
- If your baby has been diagnosed with a milk allergy or shows signs of an allergy (such as eczema) , don’t give him yogurt until you’ve checked with your baby’s doctor.
- Apply the 3 day rule. Wait at least three days after introducing yogurt before moving on to another new food. That way your baby’s body has time to adjust, and you can watch for a reaction.
- If your child develops a rash around his mouth, seems unusually fussy, or has diarrhea after eating yogurt, check with his doctor. These are all signs of an allergic reaction and may be related to milk protein or additives in the yogurt.
- If you add pureed fruit to yogurt, choose fruit that your baby has already tasted and tolerated.