When you think about all the foods that are available for your little one to eat, honey might not be the first thing that comes to mind. It’s pretty amazing how many options there are these days!
From yogurts to shakes and pouches, it can be easy to lose sight of the more natural foods. However honey is a great food for kids for several reasons. It’s especially helpful for babies that have allergies or sensitivities because it does not carry those allergens and is considered hypoallergenic.
5 Benefits of Honey For Your Child
Honey is an amazing food. While it’s a natural sweetener, honey actually has some incredible health benefits, especially for kids. Here are five of the best reasons to give your child a spoonful of the good stuff.
- Honey has antibacterial properties
Honey is very rich in antibacterial properties. So it can help cure coughs and colds in babies. Since cough medicines aren’t recommended for young kids, honey or especially manuka honey can be used as an alternative remedy to treat cough naturally without any side effects.
- Honey improves digestive health
Honey comes from bees, which means it’s full of bee pollen. Bee pollen contains proteins, amino acids, minerals, and vitamins — basically everything your body needs to stay healthy. Plus, it’s really good for digestion: It has the power to cure stomach ulcers, boost the immune system and even ease constipation.
- Long-lasting energy
Honey contains fructose and glucose which provide the body with energy. They are absorbed directly into the bloodstream providing quick energy to the body. The glucose in honey is absorbed by the body quickly and gives an immediate energy boost while the fructose is absorbed more slowly providing sustained energy. This makes it a great choice for children as they need sustained energy during school and playtime throughout the day and not just a quick burst of energy that can be followed by a crash like with many other sweeteners.
- Honey helps wounds heal faster
Honey has antibacterial properties that can help speed the healing of minor burns and scrapes. It’s great for treating minor cuts and burns, and it can reduce swelling and redness from insect bites. The only caveat is that honey shouldn’t be given to babies under 12 months old because of the risk of botulism. In most cases, though, this isn’t an issue because by the time your child is eating solid food and getting minor injuries (like cuts from learning to walk), he or she will be over a year old.
- It improves sleep
A small amount of honey before bedtime may improve your child’s sleep quality. This is because honey increases insulin production and also releases serotonin, which increases melatonin production in the brain. Melatonin helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle (circadian rhythm).
We hope that you have a better picture of the myriad health benefits that honey can offer your child. While it won’t be right for all children, it may very well be useful to many more than you realize. And if your child has trouble sleeping at night, is always getting sick, or has significant allergies, we think you’ll find honey an effective way to help overcome these issues.