Parents: Introduce peanut products early

girl eating peanut butter sandwich New guidelines from the National Institutes of Health say infants who are at high risk for peanut allergies should eat foods containing peanuts as soon as they start solid foods.

The recommendations are the result of a groundbreaking study. They reverse previous advice to avoid all exposure to peanuts.

A panel of experts created three guidelines for babies with different allergy levels. Infants with:

  • Severe eczema, egg allergy or both should be given peanut-based foods as early as 4 months of age.
  • Mild to moderate eczema should begin eating peanut-containing products starting at 6 months of age.
  • No signs of eczema or food allergy can eat products containing peanuts without restrictions when you introduce solid foods.

If your child has eczema or an egg or other food allergy, ask your health care provider before offering foods that have peanuts. Remember, whole or pieces of peanuts can cause choking so don’t give them to children younger than age 5.