The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its guidelines for introducing peanuts to babies.
Many of the previous generations have been against giving children peanuts before they are one years old. New moms might have their mom's or grandmother's asking, "are you supposed to be feeding them that?" They might even say something in a condescending tone saying, "oh hon, they are way too young to be eating peanuts." Little do they know that studies have recently come out indicating that waiting to feed children allergen foods later in life might increase their chances of having an intolerance to a certain food.
In March 2019, the American Academy of Pediatrics introduced the new guidelines for introducing children to peanuts. The hope is to decrease the number of young children who are developing peanut allergies. AAP has now advised parents to start introducing peanut products to children as early as 4 months and no later than one years old. Researchers have shown that waiting too long may actually increase the child's chance of developing an allergy to peanuts.
Previously, children who were at "high risk" of developing an allergy were encouraged by medical professionals to avoid any kind of peanut products for the first three years of their lives. They believed that if children were to avoid peanut products they would have less of a chance to have an allergic reaction. Now, researchers have found that they were doing the children a disservice by giving this advice. They might have actually increased the children's chances of developing an allergy to peanuts.
Your pediatrician is the one to determine whether or not your child is high risk. Some children might be considered high risk if they have had previous allergic reactions to other allergen foods such as eggs, wheat, and milk. Another sign that your pediatrician might be looking for in your child is if they have severe eczema or other unexplained rashes. If your child has deemed your child as a high risk to develop an allergy to peanuts then they will then advise you to begin introducing your child (on very small doses) to peanut products as early as 4 months. Your pediatrician will no longer tell you to wait as long as possible. Talk to your pediatrician today about all of the new allergen guidelines!