Peanut allergy prevention has been in the news frequently over the past two years with the completion of the groundbreaking LEAP study. Now the National Institutes of Health has published an addendum to the guidelines for the prevention of peanut allergy in the US.
What’s new about these guidelines is that they recommend the early introduction of peanut protein in infants between 4-6 months of age depending on risk (low, medium or high) to prevent peanut allergy. They also provide ways to simply introduce peanut to babies (through thinned peanut butter, peanut puffs or powdered peanut butter) and recommendations for how frequently infants who are at-risk for peanut allergy should eat peanut foods (at least 3 times per week). If a baby isn’t at risk for peanut allergy, parents can offer peanut foods as often as they would like.
“We expect that widespread implementation of these guidelines by health care providers will prevent the development of peanut allergy in many susceptible children and ultimately reduce the prevalence of peanut allergy in the United States,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D.
Here are some additional ways to add peanut to your baby’s diet. Your child’s specific dietary needs should be discussed with a pediatrician.