Eat peanuts earlier

Eat peanuts earlier

Introducing nuts sooner lowers the risk of allergies later


Peanuts before 6 months lowers the risk of peanut allergy later

Current research now supports introducing peanuts and eggs early in infancy to prevent allergies from developing later in life <<LEAP study>>. In fact, there was an 81% reduction in developing peanut allergy in babies who regularly ate foods with peanuts in them from the time they were 4-6 months old until they were 5 years old. As a result, an expert committee (including Dr. Hugh Sampson, on Nutrition4Kids Advisory Board) developed 3 new guidelines to help parents and medical personnel prevent peanut allergy from developing in the first place

New Guidelines for Safely Introducing Peanuts and Preventing Allergies 

  • For babies who have severe eczema or who already have egg allergy,  test for peanut allergy by 4-6 months of age to see if it's already developed. If it has, the baby should be managed by an allergist who can determine if it is safe to still try to introduce peanuts under their supervision. 

In babies without any evidence of peanut allergy, they should do well starting peanut products at  home or while being supervised at their regular doctor's office.

  • A baby with mild eczema should do well with peanut products introduced at home (by the time the baby is 6 months old.  Start with easy to eat foods such as puffs made from peanuts or add peanut powder to baby food. Whole peanuts and peanut butter can be choking hazards in children under 3 years old. 
  • Infants without eczema or any food allergy can have age-appropriate peanut-containing foods freely introduced in the diet, together with their other solid foods. Of course, that would be according to the family's preferences and cultural practices, meaning some families almost never eat peanut products. 

Dr. Sampson states that, "once early peanut introduction is started, it is important that parents continue to provide peanut on a regular basis for several years." This ensures that your child's body continues to accept the food instead of attacking it (as seen in allergies). Bottom Line: Early introduction of peanuts can help reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy. Infants with eczema or an existing egg allergy should be tested for a peanut allergy (by 4-6 months) before introducing peanuts. Infants without eczema or an existing food allergy can freely introduce age appropriate peanut containing foods by 6 months of age.

peanut allergy