If you are like me and have older children you probably have noticed quite a few changes in the allergy prevention advice over the past few years.
I certainly did!
When my first child
Then at the end of 2010 the “Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy in the United States” were published and we learned that delaying the introduction of allergenic foods does not help to prevent allergies and may, in fact, have an opposite effect.
I remember speaking at a group workshop for about 50 uptown moms a few days the guidelines came out and one of them asked me about them.
Unfortunately, the guidelines from 2010 did not offer any strategies for allergy prevention because we did not have enough strong evidence for it yet.
And then, in 2015, results of a very important study called LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut Allergy) came out. Its subjects were babies between 4 and 11 months who had severe eczema, egg allergy or both.
The babies were divided into two groups. One of the groups was getting
When the children were tested for peanut allergy, those who were not exposed to peanut protein from early on were much more likely to develop an allergic reaction to peanuts. The
Since the results of this study were released, all medical community and parents of peanut allergic kids were anxiously waiting for an update on the official recommendations. About 2% of children suffer from this
Finally, a couple of weeks ago, in January 2017, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) released a new set of guidelines which may finally help prevent many children from getting peanut allergies in the future.
Below is a brief overview of the new recommendations.
When to introduce peanuts?
It depends. If your child is at a high risk for developing peanut allergy, you may need to start earlier. Depending on your child’s risk, he may belong to one of the three groups:
Group 1: Children with severe eczema and/or egg allergy. They should be introduced to
Group 2: Children who have mild to minimal-to-moderate eczema and no egg allergy. They should be introduced to
Group 3: Children who have neither eczema nor egg allergy. They can be introduced to
How much peanut products to give to your child
If your child has severe eczema and/or egg allergy but the allergy evaluation determined that he is at a low risk for peanut allergy, you will have to follow a certain protocol to introduce peanuts to your child at home.
If your child has no eczema, or mild to moderate eczema and no egg allergy, you do not have to follow any rules regarding the amounts or frequency and can introduce
Giving peanuts to your baby: safety first
1. Never give your child whole peanuts or peanut butter from a spoon, they are choking hazards.
2. Make sure your child is healthy.
3. Choose a day when you are at home, not in a restaurant, daycare or traveling and watch your child for at least 2 hours after the feeding. It is also very important to familiarize yourself with the signs of an allergic reaction.
If your child is older than 6 months
If your child is older than 6 months, he can still benefit from
So if you are strictly following Baby Led Weaning and your baby is not ready for finger foods by 6 months of age, he will still benefit from
The same goes for children with developmental delays who may not be ready for solid foods by 6 months of age.
5 ways to safely introduce peanuts to your baby
For children without eczema or egg allergy and those with mild to moderate
- Peanut snacks. The same peanut-containing snack Bamba as the researchers did in the LEAP study or a similar product containing protein powder. It can be offered as a finger food or softened with milk or water and fed with a spoon.
3. Ground peanuts. Grind some fresh peanuts into powder and add to purees, yogurt or mixed dishes.
4. Sprinkle peanut powder on finger foods. Roll your baby’s finger foods in peanut powder. This makes them less slippery, boosts nutrition and adds variety.
5. Peanut butter toast. Spread a very thin layer of peanut butter on a toast to serve as a finger food.
I hope this post will help to sooth some of your concerns when it comes to introducing peanuts to your baby as well as provide some actionable steps to do it safely.
Starting solids the easy, safe and stress-free way!
Let me show you how to safely and successfully introduce solids to your baby with my step-by-step system, recipes, meal plans, and guides.