If you’re a parent with a baby, you might be pondering about peanuts.
You see, the guidelines about introducing peanuts to babies recently changed.
It used to be that the American Academy of Pediatrics and other nutrition authorities recommended that parents hold off on introducing peanuts until a baby was well beyond his first birthday.
But a new set of guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has reversed course, and now recommends earlier introduction of peanuts.
Based on a body of research, it appears that earlier introduction of peanuts helps prevent peanut allergy, especially in babies who are higher risk of peanut allergy (such as those with a family member with peanut allergy or a baby who already has egg allergy or severe eczema).
Here’s the breakdown of the new guidelines:
- Guideline 1 – If your baby has severe eczema, egg allergy, or both (conditions that increase the risk of peanut allergy), he or she should have peanut-containing foods introduced into the diet as early as 4 to 6 months of age.
- Guideline 2 – If your baby has mild to moderate eczema, he or she may have peanut-containing foods introduced into the diet around 6 months of age to reduce the risk of developing peanut allergy.
- Guideline 3 – If your baby has no eczema or any food allergy, you can freely introduce peanut-containing foods into his or her diet.
Bottom line is, earlier introduction of peanut allergy appears to be protective against peanut allergy infection.