Preventing Peanut Allergies

The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology recently released new guidelines suggesting earlier peanut introduction may prevent allergies. The new recommendations state peanut introduction should begin between 4-6 months of age, much earlier than previously advised. New research to support these guidelines suggest early introduction, after other first foods have been introduced, significantly decreases risk for developing peanut allergies.

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The new recommendations include three approaches for peanut introduction, based on an infant’s allergy risk or family history:

  • For infants with severe eczema, egg allergy or both, he or she should undergo a skin prick test first and possibly introduce peanuts at 4-6 months in a doctor’s office. Ultimately, for an infant with this type of history, follow your doctor’s recommendation for introduction.
  • Infants with mild to moderate eczema should be introduced to peanuts at 6 months. This introduction should occur after other, solid first foods.
  • Infants without eczema or any food allergies are low risk. Peanut introduction should begin at 6 months and include age-appropriate forms of the food.

While many parents fear peanuts or peanut butter for concerns of a choking hazard; there are several ways to safely include peanuts in an infant’s diet. Some easy ideas to progressively introduce peanuts include:

  • STAGE 1 EATERS (thin consistency) – Stir peanut butter into Greek yogurt: use a powdered peanut butter for a smooth texture that will be safest for baby to swallow.
  • STAGE 2 EATERS (chunky texture) – Blend or mash peanut butter into fresh bananas: choose a natural peanut butter for a thinner consistency.
  • STAGE 3 EATERS (self-feeders) – Try peanut butter pancakes or muffins: try this recipe that the whole family can enjoy!

For more information on the new guidelines for preventing peanut allergies, check out Lara’s segment from November 30, 2016 on Good Day Chicago – Fox News.


Lara Field MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian and Specialist in Pediatrics with over a decade of clinical and client experience planning healthy diets. When she’s not actively working to keep her clients healthy, she’s a busy mother of two active and healthy boys and a love for testing new recipes in her kitchen.