Mom Kiss Baby
Peanut allergies, known for their severity and lifelong impact, affect roughly 2% of children in the United States, and that number appears to be on the rise. Previous guidelines had advised parents of high-risk children to delay the introduction of peanuts and peanut butter products until at least age three. Last week, however, an expert panel sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) published new guidelines recommending that parents introduce some infants to peanut-containing foods as early as 4-6 months old as a method of preventing food allergies. The institute developed these latest recommendations as a result of new findings that suggest that a peanut allergy can be prevented by early introduction of foods containing peanuts.
Three separate guidelines are recommended for infants based on their various risk levels for developing a peanut allergy, and are as follows:
- High-risk infants (those suffering from severe eczema, an egg allergy or both) should be introduced to peanut-containing foods as early as 4 to 6 months of age.
- Infants with mild to moderate eczema should begin trying peanut-containing foods at about 6 months of age.
- Infants without eczema or any food allergies can have peanut-containing foods introduced freely into their diet after having started on other solid foods.
Parents should always check with their healthcare provider before the introduction of peanut-containing food.
For more information on the new guidelines, visit AAP.