Ask any parent of a 10-15 year-old about giving a child a nut before the age of two, and they would likely tell that it is considered a mortal “parenting sin”. I remember in 2011, rumors flew that Kate Middleton could be pregnant because she declined to try peanut paste during a trip to a UNICEF center. Parents and caregivers were deathly scared of any form of nut coming into contact with their young children for most of the 2000s.
Today, tables have turned for nut introduction. Current recommendations are actually to introduce them earlier than later. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)currently recommends introducing peanuts at4-6 months of age.
Ok, so what truly gives? Parents and caregivers have copious amounts of unclear information constantly coming at them. Hopefully, this timeline helps clear up at least one topic of debate.
The AAP put out the guideline that peanut-containing products be avoided until at least 3 years of age. However, this recommendation was based on expert opinion only and likely resulted, at least in part, in the increase in peanut allergy over the last 20A theory many practitioners have as to why the AAP made the recommendation based on insufficient evidence is that the AAP felt pressured to provide a guideline and decided to take the safe not sorry route.
The LEAP Study was published early in the year. This study observed 640 infants over a 60 month period. They were randomly assigned to either consume or completely avoid peanuts until 60 months of age. Results of the study stated that, “The early introduction of peanuts significantly decreased the frequency of the development of peanut allergy among children at high risk for this allergy and modulated immune responses to peanuts.”
The new AAP-endorsed guidelines outlining a new approach that promises to reduce the risk of peanut allergy.
The guidelines to introduce nuts early still remain but not without the concern for the risk of choking. Before introducing peanuts or nuts to any infant, talk to your pediatrician or dietitian about safe ways to introduce nut-containing products. However, never give a whole nut to an infant.
Parents and caregivers have information and opinions coming at them from every angle. Daily Crunch understands how hard parenting can be. We are always looking for ways to make a caregiver’s day just a little easier. Hopefully this information can provide that for you. If your child is older than 4 months and you want to introduce nuts, talk to your pediatrician about safe ways to do just that. When they are older, we know they will love it when you pull a mini bag ofDaily Crunch Snacks out for snack time.