Peanut allergies are certainly something a lot of parents worry about, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should automatically be keeping your babies away from peanuts.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) just released some new guidelines about when and how to introduce peanuts into a kid’s diet and they believe there’s a benefit to giving even those with a high risk of allergies a taste. In fact, experts suggest most kids should be exposed to a small amount of peanut protein by six months old because it could prevent an allergy from developing. And if they have no allergic reaction, they should get regular doses.
So, how should parents be introducing peanut butter into kids’ diets? Well, here are the guidelines:
- High Risk Infants – If a baby has severe eczema or an egg allergy, they should be brought to a specialist to be tested between four to six months old, once they’ve started eating solid food. This way the specialist can track what happens if they take a small dose of peanut protein. Even those with a sensitivity may not be totally allergic and the small dose could prevent the allergy from developing.
- Moderate Risk Infants – Those with a moderate risk don’t need a doctor’s help so parents can feed them a little peanut-containing food at home.
- Low Risk Children – Parents have the option of deciding when to give their kids peanut containing food, but they should be fed some by the time they reach six months old, after they’ve started eating solid foods.
Experts do warn that when you introduce peanuts into your child’s diet it’s important to watch their reaction. If they can’t tolerate it they may exhibit a whole host of symptoms including vomiting, wheezing, coughing or even looking lethargic.