Friday 29 September 2017

Introducing Your Baby To Peanut Butter!

YES it's true! Delaying the introduction of peanut is no longer recommended.  In fact, all common food allergens, (including: peanut, tree nuts (i.e. walnuts, almonds, cashews), egg, milk products (i.e. yogurt and cheese), wheat, sesame, soy and seafood) can be introduced starting at about six months of age when your baby is ready for solid foods.  

There is no benefit to delaying the introduction of these foods and delaying may actually increase the risk of food allergies.  This is especially true for peanut and egg.  Your baby can enjoy most of the same foods as the rest of the family and that makes family mealtimes easier and fun.   

Consider the following when introducing common food allergens:
  1. Your baby's first solid foods should continue to be high iron foods such as meat, meat alternatives and iron fortified infant cereal.  Many common food allergens are also good sources of iron such as eggs, fish, and tofu.
  2. Modify food textures when needed to reduce risk of choking.
  3. When choosing which food allergens to offer first, choose foods your family regularly enjoys.  For example, if peanut butter is a food that your family eats often this would be a great choice to begin with.  See below for how you can offer peanut butter safely. 
  4. Introduce common food allergens one-at-a time.
How can I make peanut butter safe to offer to my baby?
  • Add 15 mL (1 Tbsp) warm water to 15 mL (1 Tbsp) smooth peanut butter. Mix until smooth and no lumps. Stir into 30 mL (2 Tbsp) prepared infant cereal, oatmeal, applesauce or other pureed or mashed fruit.
Attention: Parents of babies with severe eczema or egg allergy
Talk to your doctor early on about the best time to offer peanut to your baby.  A referral to a pediatric allergist may be recommended before offering peanut to your baby.
For information on reducing risk of food allergy in babies see this health file
If you have questions or concerns about offering peanut and other food allergens to your baby, call Dietitian Services at HealthLinkBC by dialing 8-1-1 and asking to speak with the allergy dietitian.

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