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When Can I Introduce More Sensitive Foods like Peanut Butter to My Infant?

When can I safely introduce sensitive foods to my infant? I’m worried about accidentally giving my baby an allergy.

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Introducing a child to new foods with the possibility of a severe allergic reaction can be scary for parents. It was once thought that the best way to protect against food allergies was to wait until a child was at least three years old to start giving foods such as peanut butter.

However, studies have shown that delaying exposure to peanut butter can actually increase the likelihood of an allergy. According to the latest guidelines, if your child has no food allergies you can introduce small amounts of peanut butter to your child’s diet when you would normally start giving solid food (for most, around 6 months of age).

If your child has food allergies or severe eczema (a skin condition that is linked with allergies), exposure to peanut butter in the diet a little earlier, around 4-6 months, may help reduce the risk of developing a food allergy.

In this case, check with your child’s doctor first. You can always do some allergy testing before introducing peanut butter.

Keep in mind that sticky foods like peanut butter are a choking hazard. Be sure to thin it out with water or by mixing it with pureed fruit. And if you have questions or concerns about starting your baby on any new food, talk with your baby’s doctor.

If you have more questions about how to take care of your newborn baby, explore our resources here.

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