Peanuts and Nuts- When Should I Expose My Little One ?

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Before starting Med school, I remember being told that we should avoids peanuts and other common allergens (like tree nuts, other legumes, etc.) until a baby is a year of age and that we should especially avoid peanuts prior to a year of age if there was a family history of nut allergies. New research is revising that suggestion! 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!

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.

3 COMMENTS

  1. This is really helpful ! I have a severe nut allergy and have been absolutely terrified to introduce them to my daughter. She is 16 months old and to date I still have not had the confidence to feed her nuts. She has had to reactions to food under a year and our family pediatrician suggested we pursue allergy testing before introducing any nuts. What are your thoughts !

    • Hi Courtney, I had some time to read up on this topic and from my reading, early introduction of allergens (nuts, eggs, etc.) may reduce the risk of developing the allergy. However, it sounds like your daughter has had reactions to foods and without knowing her past medical history I think it makes sense for her to have allergy testing. Hope this helps!

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