How to Safely Introduce Peanut Foods to Infants
Guidelines for introducing peanut foods have recently changed. We've brought together the latest expert advice to help guide how your family can put these recommendations into practice.
Guidelines Recommend the Early Introduction of Peanut Foods
Groundbreaking research findings in 2015 led the American Academy of Pediatrics to endorse early introduction of peanut foods for infants at high risk for peanut allergy. In 2017, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, published new guidelines for introducing peanut foods to infants. These recommendations vary depending on a baby’s risk of developing peanut allergy, which can be evaluated by the baby’s primary care physician or by an allergist/immunologist.
Before introducing peanut foods to your baby, be sure to evaluate your baby's allergy risk and consult your doctor.
Introducing Age-Appropriate Peanut Foods at Home
Age-appropriate peanut foods should be introduced only at home or in a doctor’s office, not at locations outside the home. When introducing peanut foods at home, pick a time when your infant is healthy and you are able to devote your full attention for at least two hours so that you can watch for an allergic reaction.
- Prepare a full portion of one of the peanut-containing foods from the recipes below. Each provides a 2-gram serving of peanut protein.
- Offer your baby a small taste of peanut-containing food on the tip of a spoon. Wait 10 minutes.
- If there is no allergic reaction after this small taste, give the remaining food slowly.
PLEASE NOTE: Whole peanuts, peanut chunks and peanut butter are choking hazards for babies. Make sure that the peanut foods you provide are age-appropriate.
Never Give your baby whole peanuts or pieces of peanut
Never give your baby chunky or crunchy peanut butter
When giving your baby smooth peanut butter, thin it with water or pureed food
You can use any brand of peanut puffs, but the serving should contain two grams of peanut protein.
- If your baby is less than seven months old, soften the puffs with four to six teaspoons of water. Feed your baby one puff at a time.
- Older babies who can manage dissolvable textures can eat puffs that haven’t been softened with water.
Smooth Peanut Butter
You will need smooth peanut butter and either hot water or pureed (smooth) fruit or vegetable.
- Measure two teaspoons of peanut butter.
- To thin with hot water, add two to three teaspoons and stir to blend well. Let cool. You can add more water or a previously tolerated infant cereal to make baby's preferred texture.
- To thin with puree, add two to three tablespoons of pureed fruit or vegetable that baby has tolerated in the past. You can add more or less puree to make baby's preferred texture.
Peanut Flour or Peanut Butter Powder
You will need powdered peanut flour or peanut butter powder and fruit or vegetable puree.
- Measure two teaspoons of peanut flour or peanut butter powder.
- To thin the flour or powder, add approximately two tablespoons of pureed fruit or vegetable that the baby has previously tolerated. You can add more or less puree to achieve a consistency that your baby likes.