One of my favorite foods is peanut butter. I probably go through a jar (at least) a week. I ate it through my entire pregnancy, and when I was breast feeding. So there was no doubt I was going to be introducing it to my little guy as soon as possible. Given the concern for allergies I of course wanted to make sure I was doing it right and to reduce my sons risk of getting an allergy. A recent clinical research study, Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) Study, compared early and late introduction of peanut containing foods among high risk peanut allergy infants (those diagnosed with severe eczema, egg allergy or both). The study found an association between early introduction and consistent intake of peanut containing foods with a significant decreased risk of developing a peanut allergy among high-risk infants.
Given these findings the National Institute of Health recently updated their guidelines, recommending parents with high risk infants introduce peanut containing products as early as 4-months. Of course, any infant who is at high risk, should talk with their physician before starting any peanut containing foods. For infants with moderate eczema it’s recommended to start introducing peanut containing foods around 6 months and all other infants to introduce peanuts freely into diet at home along with other foods.
We started introducing peanut butter around 6 months. I first added powdered peanut butter to his oat cereal and mashed bananas. Once he was about 8 months and eating finger foods I started topping sliced banana, pancakes and pieces of bread with peanut butter. Now it goes on and in just about everything and he loves it!
Here are some other great ways to start introducing peanuts and other nuts to your infants foods!
Early (4-8 months):
- Thin out 2 teaspoons of peanut butter with 2 teaspoons of water, breastmilk or formula.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of peanut butter into oat cereal, yogurt, mashed banana or other tolerated food.
- Mix powdered peanut butter into tolerated pureed fruit.
Here is a great video from the National Peanut Board
- Bake into baked goods
- Top slices of banana, pancakes, or bread.
Here are a couple of my favorite recipes!