How to Introduce Peanut to My Baby? What Parents Need To Know
Learn when and how you should introduce peanut to your baby.
- When and how should I introduce peanut to my baby?
- What's the safest approach to peanut introduction?
- What approach gives me the best chance of food freeom?
- Which forms of peanut should I introduce to baby, and which should I avoid?
We're here to answer parents' most frequent questions about introducing peanut to your little one.
When to introduce peanut to babies?
You may think it's best to wait a few years to introduce any kind of peanut to your child. For years, this approach was recommended. But we now know that this isn't best for baby.
Delaying the introduction of peanut actually puts babies at increased risk of developing a peanut allergy.
Start Peanut Introduction Early
Thanks to results from the landmark LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut) study, we now know that it's best to introduce peanut early and often.
These results show that consistently introducing babies to peanut as early as 4-6 months of age is important.
Know Your Baby's Risk, and Act Accordingly
In response to these results, the NIH and AAP have released new guidelines supporting the early introduction of peanut to babies.
The guidelines specify that the higher a baby's risk for peanut allergy, the earlier they should be introduced to peanut.
- The risk levels are based on guidelines developed by the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Learn more about how to follow these the NIAID Guidelines here.
- Babies who have severe eczema, egg allergy, and/or a close relative with an allergic condition are at high risk for peanut allergy.
- Babies at high risk for peanut allergy should be introduced to peanut starting between 4 and 6 months of age.
- Parents of babies with severe eczema should talk to their pediatrician before introducing peanuts or other allergens. Your pediatrician may recommend allergy testing prior to starting introduction.
Low to Moderate Risk
- Babies with no close family history of allergy, and with mild, moderate or no eczema, are at low to moderate risk of peanut allergy.
- Babies at low to moderate risk for peanut allergy should eat peanut within their first year of life.
Even Babies at Low Risk Should Consume Peanut in Infancy
All children will benefit from early peanut introduction, starting before 12 months of age, regardless of their food allergy risk.
A JACI study based on CHILD cohort data found that, compared to infants who were introduced to peanut within their first 12 months of life, infants who did not eat peanut during their first year of life were over four times more likely to develop a peanut allergy by age three.
Most of these children were at low initial risk of peanut allergy.
How should I introduce peanut to my baby?
How should you introduce peanut, and how often, to maximize safety and give your baby the best defense against food allergies?
Know the Choking Hazards to Avoid
Never feed your baby whole peanuts, any chunky peanut butter, or smooth peanut butter that isn't thinned with liquid. These can cause choking.
Monitor Baby In Case of a Reaction
Always make sure an adult can closely monitor baby for at least 2 hours after feeding peanut, in case of a reaction. If a reaction develops, immediately stop feeding baby peanut, and talk to your pediatrician.
- Signs of an allergic reaction include vomiting, hives, and redness or swelling of the face or tongue.
Think Before You Use Peanut Puffs
Many parents consider Bamba or other peanut puffs as a way to introduce peanut to their babies. But they aren't the healthiest or safest options. Be sure to read the articles linked above to learn more.
Know Before You DIY
One commonly used approach to peanut introduction is: 2 tsp. smooth peanut butter thinned with a few tsp. hot water, mixed and cooled before serving. Sometimes, people recommend thinning this mixture out more with baby's favorite puree.
However, with approaches like these, there's the concern that baby won't eat enough peanut to promote tolerance---or will consume too much peanut at once.
How much peanut is baby consuming? And how much is recommended? DIY approaches can be time-consuming and lead to frustrating guesswork, especially since many babies can be picky eaters.
Regardless of a baby's peanut allergy risk, it's important to sustain peanut exposure.
In the LEAP study, babies were fed peanut several times a week for up to 4 years. So, be sure to feed your baby peanut 2-7 times per week for at least several months, starting as early as 4-6 months of age.
Consider Ready, Set, Food! To Make the Process Easy and Safe
Ready, Set, Food!'s evidence-based allergen introduction system safely introduces peanut in pre-measured doses. In addition, it also introduces egg and milk, which together with peanut represent over 80% of the most common childhood food allergies.
It introduces the exact amounts of allergenic foods used in LEAP and other landmark clinical studies. So, you can rest assured that your baby is consuming the right amount of peanut.
Ready, Set, Food! easily dissolves into breastmilk, formula, or puree, making allergen introduction even simpler for families, even if baby is not yet ready for solids. It's fully organic and non-GMO. Also, over 1000 pediatricians and allergists recommend Ready, Set, Food!
Ready, Set, Food! can help you follow clinical guidelines on early allergen introduction. Join us in our mission to give families everywhere a lifetime of food freedom.
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If your infant has severe eczema, check with your infant’s healthcare provider before feeding foods containing ground peanuts.