What’s Right for My Child
The good news: most babies are not at high risk for developing a peanut allergy.
The window for prevention, however, is short – and closes early. And all babies may benefit from eating peanut foods the first year, not just those with risk factors. That’s why it is so important to know which path is right for your child – and so urgent you get started early.
My baby has severe eczema, egg allergy or both
Introduce peanut-containing foods at age 4 to 6 months
These conditions increase the risk of peanut allergy. Discuss options with your healthcare provider before introducing peanut or any potential allergen (and ideally before your baby turns four months of age). If your provider approves, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend infants in this category begin eating peanut foods around 4-6 months of age — and continue to consume them regularly.
My baby has none of these
Introduce peanut-containing foods within the first year
The new guidelines recommend introducing foods that contain peanuts along with other solid foods and in accordance with family preferences and cultural practices—within your infant’s first year of life.
It is not necessary to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning introduction. Most children will fall into this category.
5 Easy Ways to Introduce Peanut Foods
Whether whole or chopped, peanut kernels are a no-no until baby is older because of their size. The good news is that the number and variety of peanut food options to choose from when introducing is anything but limiting.
1. Mix with water, formula or breast milk
Thin 2 tsp. of peanut butter with 2-3 tsp. hot water, formula or breast milk. Allow to cool before serving.
2. Mix with food
Blend 2 tsp. of peanut butter into 2-3 tbsp. of foods like infant cereal, applesauce, yogurt (if already tolerating dairy), pureed chicken or tofu.
3. Mix with produce
Stir in 2 tsp. of powdered peanut butter into 2 tbsp. of previously tolerated pureed fruits or vegetables.
4. Peanut Snacks
Give your baby a peanut-containing teething food, such as peanut puffs.
5. Teething biscuits
Teething infants who are older and self-feeding may enjoy homemade peanut butter teething biscuits.
- The recommended way to introduce baby-friendly peanut foods depends on whether your child has risk factors for developing a peanut allergy.
- Understand the symptoms of an allergic reaction and what to do before starting.
- For high-risk infants, the guidelines advise 2g of peanut protein at any meal or snack, three times per week.
- Depending on your child’s risk, peanut foods should be introduced according to these guidelines after they’ve already started other solid foods.
- Whole nuts should not be given to children under 5 years of age.
- Do not give peanut butter from a spoon or in lumps/dollops to children under 4 years of age.
- Do not add peanut butter or peanut powder to a bottle. Always spoon-feed mixture to prevent choking.