The Benefits of Early Nut Introduction in Your Child's Diet


| 11/7/2017 8:46:00 AM


Peanuts have been taboo in diets for children in the past, but now new health guidelines released by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases recommend early nut introduction in children’s diets.

The new recommendations include adding peanut extract or powder to finger foods or pureed food even before six months of age and even if your child is allergy-prone. Doctors say it is safe. However, whole peanuts shouldn’t be given to young children who aren’t ready for whole foods — they’re a choking hazard.

peanuts with jar of peanut butter
Photo by Adobe Stock/sergojpg

The science-backed theory is this: If these guidelines are widely implemented, the amount of children who typically develop a lethal nut allergy should dramatically drop. Sadly, peanut allergies resulting in death from anaphylaxis are higher than any food allergy recorded. Deaths are rare, but children who have developed peanut allergies usually don’t grow out of it.

The latest national health guidelines are set to change all that by encouraging early exposure to nuts. At this young age, the body is more likely to tolerate a potential allergen than it is to react to it.



The Great Nut Allergy Switcheroo

So what’s up with the about-face when it comes to nut allergies — and everything else? As parents, it’s challenging to decide what’s best for your kid when conventional wisdom shifts so frequently.



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