THIS Is The Age When You Should Start Giving Babies Peanut Butter

For first time parents especially, we’re always on edge when it comes to allergens.
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Baby food weaning anxiety can make you constantly second guess yourself as a parent and make mealtimes quite stressful. I know for me that stage was really difficult as I was constantly thinking, will my six-month-old choke? Did I cut the food into the right size? Is she going to have an allergic reaction?

I remember Googling every single item I gave her and even mistaking a bit of tomato sauce on my daughter’s chin as an allergic reaction. For first time parents especially, we’re always on edge.

But according to an expert, the best way to tackle potential allergies is to start weaning your baby early. Children’s Dietitian and Feeding Specialist Lucy Upton says that although it’s controversial to give your baby food before six months, for some babies that are at higher risk of allergies, the four month mark may be more fitting.

According to the NHS: “When you start introducing solid foods to your baby from around 6 months old, introduce the foods that can trigger allergic reactions one at a time and in very small amounts so that you can spot any reaction. Once introduced and if tolerated, these foods should become part of your baby’s usual diet to minimise the risk of allergy.

“Evidence has shown that delaying the introduction of peanut and hen’s eggs beyond 6 to 12 months may increase the risk of developing an allergy to these foods.”

Dietitian Lucy says for some babies that have moderate to severe eczema and have a higher risk of allergies, weaning peanuts and eggs can be done as early as four months in small amounts – though you should always consult your GP.

Speaking to HuffPostUK, she said: “Guidance has changed so much, historically parents were told to avoid giving peanuts until the age of two or three and what we saw was an increase in peanut allergy rates.

The Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) Study found that in certain populations where they introduce peanuts early, their rate in peanut allergy was very low compared to the UK. Science showed we should be proactively introducing allergenic food early to support allergy prevention. You don’t want to leave the door open for food allergies by not giving these foods.

“I would say to give it early and often, it’s really important and you can do this with ground peanuts added to a curry or even stirred into yoghurt, it doesn’t have to be peanut butter on toast.”

Though Lucy encourages parents to wean between four to six months according to the individual and depending on developmental readiness as well as if they are in the higher risk group, she says it’s important to know the symptoms to look out for.

“Kids having severe allergic reactions at infancy is minute but not impossible. Usually the reaction is immediate within minutes. It will happen in front of you within 15 mins to half an hour if not immediately.

“You need to look out for rashes, hives, being sick or eczema flaring up. In some circumstances you can see swelling of the face. If there’s swelling behind the teeth for example on the tongue, or the child is quiet or if you sense a hoarse cry and cough, then immediate help is required.”

When asked what the most common allergy for babies is, she says though people may think it’s peanuts as that’s what you see on the news more, it’s actually cow’s milk!