When new guidelines for early introduction of peanut foods to prevent a peanut allergy were released last January by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), they offered hope and help to families everywhere. And, while many parents and pediatricians have embraced and followed the guidelines, research shows that many more parents need information and support before acting.
To bridge the gap, the National Peanut Board (NPB) launched a campaign that builds awareness of the guidelines, provides easy-to-follow resources and aims to help parents overcome concerns and fears. The effort is a partnership with the American College of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (ACAAI) and Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT), and kicks off the latest chapter in NPB’s work to help create a world free from peanut allergies.
One of the main components to the campaign is PreventPeanutAllergies.org, which was created as a resource for parents who are looking for more information on feeding peanut foods to their baby. The site includes information on how to asses a child’s risk, tips on how to introduce peanut foods along with testimonials from other families.
Additionally, a new video series features actor Justin Baldoni and documents his experience introducing peanut foods to his young son, Maxwell, to help prevent a peanut allergy. The series aims to empower new parents to prevent their children from developing a peanut allergy. Each video shows a different part of the Baldoni family following the new peanut introduction guidelines.
Parents with newborns or who are expecting should begin making plans to introduce peanuts early – around 4-6 months of age. For most parents of infants, it’s as simple as introducing baby-safe peanut foods around 6 months of age as often as they’d like. Children with severe eczema or an egg allergy or both, may be in the “high risk” infant category and should consult their pediatrician before introducing peanut foods. The NIAID guidelines recommend introducing peanut foods to high risk infants as early as four months of age and continuing to feed it to them regularly – 2g of peanut protein per meal or snack, three times per week.
For more information, visit PreventPeanutAllergies.org.