Before starting Med school, I remember being told that we should avoids peanuts and nuts and other common allergens (like tree nuts, other legumes, etc.) until a baby is a year of age. I also learned that we should especially avoid peanuts prior to one years old if there was a family history of peanut and nut allergies. When I had Madi – i was left with the question of when do i expose my child to nuts?
New research is revising the previous recommendations! Upon review of literature, researchers have found that there is no evidence that delaying the introduction of any specific food beyond 6 months of age helps to prevent allergy. A great review published in Canadian Family Physician by Perry et. al discusses this. The review article also discussed that early introduction of peanuts in infants that are high risk for nut allergy may actually reduce risk of nut allergy at 5 years of age
The Canadian Paediatric Society in association with The Canadian Society of Allergy and Immunology now recommend introducing peanuts, fish, and eggs as early as 6 months. They also recommend continuing to offer these foods regularly so the baby can maintain their tolerance to foods.
Upon introducing a new food, it is important to monitor the infant for signs of allergy and to wait two days before introducing another new food. Waiting two days makes it easier to identify which food may have caused a reaction if one appears. The Canadian Pediatric Association patient handout is something I often give my patients for an introduction of foods for more details!
So when should you expose your child to nuts? Personally, I gave Madi peanut butter for the first time when she was 5 months old. She loved it then and she is still an avid peanut butter lover now. I added a tablespoon of peanut butter to 2-3 tablespoons of boiled water and mixed it to a smoothie consistency and gave it to her once it cooled down. I also sometimes added a little bit of peanut butter to her pablum (iron fortified cereal).
DISCLAIMER: This blog reflects my personal experience as a new mother. The content on this blog is provided solely for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for informed medical advice. Please seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health care professional regarding medical conditions or questions.
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