Introducing Infants to Peanut Based Products to Reduce Risk of Allergies
Parents and doctors are encouraged to introduce babies safely to peanut-based foods by six months to reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy.
The study proved early introduction of peanut-based products slashed the risk of developing peanut allergy by age five among high-risk infants.
Infants are considered high risk if they are allergic to eggs, have severe eczema or both. If at high risk, parents should ask a doctor on how to proceed. The physician may want to do a test first and offer the first taste during the four-month office visit.
What kinds of foods?
Avoid feeding whole peanuts to infants, because they pose a choking hazard. Instead, try peanut butter or peanut flour
• Try watered-down peanut butter: Mix two teaspoons of smooth peanut butter with two to three teaspoons of hot water, and let cool.
• Mix two teaspoons of smooth peanut butter with two to three tablespoons of a favourite puréed fruit or vegetable.
• Mix two teaspoons of peanut flour with about two tablespoons of a favourite puréed fruit or vegetable.
For most children, the first feeding can be done at home.
Foods that might trigger allergy symptoms should be introduced when a child is free of symptoms of colds or other illnesses that could be mistaken for an allergic reaction.
What to watch for?
Parents should give a small portion, then wait 10 minutes, and if there’s no reaction then give the rest. They should keep watching for later reactions.