At what age can you start to feed your child peanut butter?

With peanut allergies being a big health issues for many kids, parents are often nervous to feed their babies peanut butter for the first time. What age is it okay to try giving your child some peanut butter?

40  Answers

32 5

There are several studies going around by allergists that we are creating our own peanut allergy problems in this country. Early exposure to foods will only cause an allergic reaction in someone who would be allergic anyway. They are studying Isreal where they have a paste they feed all babies that is made of peanut and other things (sort of like a peanut hummus) and they have almost NO peanut allergies. It works along the same lines as being exposed to germs early in life helps your body build immunity. If your body is never exposed to these things, they can't build a tolerance. So, I let my DD have peanut butter around the same time I started solid food and just made sure I had benedryl around just in case. No reaction. So I kept giving her little bits here and there and she never had a problem.

10
19 0

I think the peanut allergy thing is blown out of proportion in this country. Half the people I know who say their children have it have never had it confirmed, and their kids end up being exposed to peanuts in a number of ways and are fine. I am not saying no one has a serious allergy, of course some people do just like there are people with serious allergies to all sorts of things, but I think it is far fewer than we think. I think we also create allergies by trying to create this hypoallergenic, perfectly clean and bacteria free world for our kids. In some countries where peanuts are a staple of the local diet, babies start eating peanuts in sauces and pastes from a very young age and there are almost no incidences of allergies. So, all that said, we have a number of doctors in our family and we waited until one year of age to introduce peanuts, and our children were fine. Our son actually had a slight reaction to avocados the first few times he had them, so we waited a bit to reintroduce them and at almost two he is fine with them now. If allergies run in your family, you should be more careful. If not, I wouldn't blow the peanut thing out of proportion - introduce it by 8-12 months+ as is appropriate for what they can handle eating (all kids are different, of course, with sticky, chunky, etc at different ages) and see how it goes. Waiting to expose your kids to all kinds of food can create it's own set of problems. Good luck!

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2 56

my son nearly died eatting an egg, and when he had testing his reaction was worse with peanuts

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13 5

All Dr. are different But my Dr. said it is a myth. You can give them peanut butter when they can start eating on their own. Because allergies can develope at any time it just really doesn't matter.

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0 23

I agree with you that allergies can develop at any time. I am 33 years old and developed a peanut allergy at the age of 27, used to eat a lot of peanuts. Living in Namibia, we eat all kinds of nuts and I was never aware of the danger of a peanut allergy. Due to the fact that I am very allergic to peanuts, I was advised by several doctors not to give my children peanuts. The are 4 years and 2 years of age. We will have them tested formally before we give them peanuts. They may, however, (and they do) eat any other nuts. Would love for them to eat peanuts, I still crave peanuts a lot. Better safe than sorry.....

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4 10

It all depends on you families history of allergies. If you have none, then give your baby a peanut butter cookie at 9mons. If you have allergies wait till your docs OK. Really its your choice and don't let anyone make you think other wise.

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225 13

I grew up in South Africa, and in the first 28 years of my life I had never even heard of a peanut allergy, let alone met anyone with it. There everyone eats peanuts and other nuts all the time and nobody makes a big deal of it. Only since I moved to the UK 12 years ago did I see what a big deal everyone here made of it. I ate peanuts and nuts all the way through my pregnancy, because the way I see it is that there is a bigger chance of them developing an allergy if they don't get exposed to it in your womb. My twins are now 3 and have never had a reaction to anything, and they've been eating peanuts/nuts/peanut butter since they first started eating solids.

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0 6

I'm glad that your twins do not have peanut butter allergy. I ate peanut butter every day during my pregnancy, and my son is allergic to peanuts/nuts. A trip to the emergency room confirmed that when he was a toddler and bit into a peanut butter cookie. Now I have a peanut free home, and had a 504 plan developed for him at school to ensure his safety. He knows to question every item of food that he eats. Can't trust that other people will be conscious about having peanut free foods.

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2 0

I had my son allergy tested before giving him questionable foods. (Or so I thought!) As it turned he is allergic to several foods, but the blood test does not catch most of them, just the more common ones. He doesn't have a problem with peanuts, but at a football game last year he eat some granola that Grandma had brought along. It had other nuts in it, that I did not have any idea he would be allergic to and it could have been REALLY bad. We were able to get to the hospital before his air way closed, but he was having trouble breathing and his eyes were swallon shut by the time we got there. Since then he has had 3 scratch tests at the allergist office and has numerous allergies. To my knowledge my brother-in-law is the only other person in the family with any food allergies, neither my husband, myself nor my other 2 children have food allergies. So in my opinion, you can't be TOO careful when it comes to your children!! Allergies can be deadly if you aren't careful.

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16 9

I acutally gave my LO peanut butter around 6 or 7 months, because my Husband & I aren't allergic. So far our LO hasn't been allergic to ANYTHING [milk, peanuts, nuts, dairy] We've been very lucky.

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111 36

I have heard it is best to wait until 1 for nuts and honey. If you are concerned I would wait until then, if there is a history I would wait until 2.

I have been told, that if the child gets a reaction the first time will not be as serious as the second time they have it, so they could have a small reaction like itching and the second it could blow up into A shock. I think this is just standard, but you know every child is different so if you have a history of allergies I would talk to the Dr first.

My daughter is allergic to pineapples (like me) we found out when she ended up getting some pineapple in a dish prepared by another. Her reaction was and is much worse then mine has ever been. She did not go into anaphylactic shock, but we were warned that the next time she could.

2
10 7

I started giving my girls peanut butter at around 5-6 months...smooth peanut butter on bread. They loved it and still do!

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0 0

It's great that there are so many different opinions on this site, but in response to this question, I read a lot of ignorant and insensitive ones. It is usually a bad idea to make broad generalizations based on your own narrow experiences. To the ladies that tried peanuts at an early age(younger than 1) and had no problem with it, that's great, but you probably shouldn't be reccomending that to other moms. The standards on when to try peanuts and other high risk allergen foods keeps changing, which is frustrating, but it keeps changing because there is ongoing research about it. I do not believe the doctors have all of the answers, but I do think they know a lot more about food allergens than first time moms, so I would reccomend doing your best to follow their guidelines. As a mom of a child with multiple food allergies, I disagree with the comment that if you are overly protective your child is more likely to have food allergies. Having a child with food allergies makes you hypervigilant, b/c it is a matter of life and death. If you have seen your child's face and hands start to swell and be covered with hives (or worse)within seconds of eating something(in our case an egg) than that changes you. You cannot just go out to the playground, dinner, or birthday party and completely relax when you have a child with food allergies. You have to bring your own cupcakes to the birthday party, scan the food for potential threats, remind the well intentioned adults not to give your child any food, and hope that the kid on the playground is going to clean his hands off after eating his peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I would love to know the cause of my son's food allergies, but there are a ton of theories out there, and you can drive yourself crazy trying to figure out why. It is most likely a combination of genetics and environmental factors, that determine food allergies. It is known that a person can develop food allergies at any point in their life, and that a parent who has any allergy(to cats, pollen etc.) is 50% more likely to have a child with any allergy.
Regarding the comments about banning peanuts in school, and how we can't ban every potential allergen, I agree, but the reason peanuts were banned is b/c it is one of the foods that allergy sufferers are more likely to have a life-threatening reaction to, and for many years it has been a staple in children's lunchboxes, even though the number of children with this allergy keeps growing. I don't think most parents of kids with food allergies expect to have everyone accomodate them, but it is reasonable to ask the teachers, family members, and friend's parents that they spend time with to take food allergies seriously and do the best they can to keep our little ones safe.

1
0 10

All well put, yet it does beg the question: if peanut butter and jelly was a staple sandwich for so long, why is it only in recent history that we feel a need to curb our exposure? Why are there so many more allergies now? My friends and I ate PB&J for lunch through the 70s and 80s and I don't recall a single incident. And our school district was quite large. Interesting...

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0 20

Sometimes going into things too much causes more harm.

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51 18

I gave my daughter peanut butter at about 1 year. She does have a milk allergy though, so we've met with an allergist and he mentioned waiting to introduce foods because children's digestive systems are not fully developed until like 3 or so, especially if allergies run in the family. He also mentioned that she has a good chance of outgrowing her allergy. He also mentioned that if either parent is allergic to anything - including dust, pollen, etc - it increases the child's chance of being allergic. That surprised me because I didn't think we needed to worry much about food allergies since my husband and I only have environmental allergies, not food.

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9 39

We have no history of nut allergies in our family. When speaking with our pediatrician, we did at 18 months for our first. Our second "stole" some of her brothers peanut butter at 14 months and have had no problems. If your child needs protein and you don't have a family history, I would introduce it sooner than later for the nutritional value.

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3 8

My son is 3 yrs old and I don't have a problem with peanut butter with him because he doesn't like it!!!!

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26 0

I don't think I would encourage giving it before age 1. I'm not sure what the dr.s are saying these days. My LO is 8 months and is eating everything but nuts. We have no history of allergies, but peanut allergies are so serious, I will try to follow the pediatrician's advice on this one. I usually just go with my own experience, but I have none on this issue. My daughter has several children in her class with severe nut allergies. I will not send her to school with peanut butter because it is so dangerous for them to be exposed. I would hate to be in their mother's shoes.

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1 15

I gave peanut butter (smooth) to our little boy from about 4/5 months old and from about 1 years old, he has had crunchy! He'll also eat peanuts and cashews whole. I must say I watched him eagerly the first time he tried it, but I tend to go with my instincts rather than a doctors advice book.

1
1

Dear Anne
Your comments are hurtful to parents that have this as a true real allergy. My daughter has been hospitalized over peanuts and until you do your research on the issue I would suggest staying off the message boards. Yes, there are other scary and real allergies too, and I would hope that schools and play grounds remain clean so that children won't be exposed. I'm not sure what I would do if my child had an instant death allergy to something that is more commen than peanuts but it would be terrifying sending him or her to school. I'm so sorry that your child can't have peanut butter and jelly at school, honestly I have other kids and I get that it's an easy go to but why is this of all things something to complain about? My child could literally die because of that. Her allergy is very strong. She even eats her food in a seperate room which is sad socially but nessisary even in a nut free school. I think you have to put yourself on the hard side of things before judging. If there was something that could kill your child wouldn't you be sad that other parents we're upset because they are inconvienanced by it? I get that there are other allergies and yes, i wish for those children and their families we could umbrella them all land cut them out. However, there is one specifific food easy to illiminate while not at home so children won't die...and you are upset? Think about it. I guess you feel like your child has the right to peanuts and they do when they get home. I child should have the right to go to school and not wear a mask to keep from inhaling peanut fumes.

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353 0

Well if you were tested and allergic to peanuts in the first place then never.

I would say for those that aren't maybe a year or two old.

I am not sure. I guess you can try just a smidge and then if any reaction have them tested.

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0 0

My PEDI told me one year and to have Benadryl on hand. So at 13 mos we gave my daughter peanut butter and her lips started to swell by the time we got home her face, lips and tongue swelled up and started to have trouble breathing. We called 911. Thank god because she was in anaphylactic shock. They administered the epi pen and Benadryl and saved her life! I thought the peanut thing was a bit crazy until it happened to my daughter. Now I get it! It's very serious!

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1 0

hi,
i waited til my boys were 3 before they had peanut butter. but now the schools dont allow it at schools so they eat sunflower seed butter and save pb for home.

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1 0

also for food allergic reactions benedryl and believe it or not tagamet. my hubby had that in hospital after an allergic reaction to oyster mushrooms. it did the trick

0 0

I say two years old is the best time, depending on the development of your child. I'm not really worried about the younger they are, etc... But I was worried that my sons wouldn't be able to express that they were having issues until it was too late. So pretty much once they could tell me if they weren't feeling well, I let them have small bits of this and that, and if they were fine, I let them have more. I was especially cautious with seafood since my father is allergic to crab, and possibly other shellfish. Thankfully, my kids don't have any food allergies thus far, and there's hardly any type of food they haven't eaten. But it certainly didn't hurt them to wait a little while.

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6 0

I was very nervous when I first gave my eldest peanut butter (she was probably 15/16 months ish)but fortunately she was fine. I was told to be careful the second time you offer it as well as apparently the reaction doesn't always show up straight away and quite often will the second time. That's just what I was told. Haven't given any to my younger daughter yet.

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0 0

Always check with your pediatrician. They are familiar with your child and not all children are ready at the same time, due to other factors.

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0 0

My son has bad excema and when we took him to the allergist at age of three, the allergist said to put off giving him peanut as long as possible. Excema can be a sign that there are allergies. (he has seasonal allergies and a sensitivity to peaches. He also still has extremely sensitive skin.) We have not introduced any nuts or shellfish.) He also said that the worst thing we can do if he has an allergic reaction is to give him benedryl. The allergist said that benedryl does not work on food allergies and that it delays treatment because you wait for it to do something and it doesn't do anything. We have told him that he can't have nuts because they might make him sick. He will tell waitress no nuts they make me sick. He will also ask anyone that gives him food if it has nuts. His preschool also knows that he can't have nuts. He's never had them and it doesn't seem to bother him that he can't have them.

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0 7

I disagree about the benadryl. It saved my son's life when I first discovered he had a severe allergy to peanuts at age 2. However I was told that Bendraly will not work for older children. We always carry an Epi Pen and the benadryl. I would give him benadryl first!

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0 19

Doctors test for food allergies by doing localised skin tests. If you are concerned that your child may be at risk from a peanut allergy try rubbing a small amount on a patch of skin on their back and cover with a bandaid. If there is a reaction of any sort consult your Dr, if there is nothing and the peanut butter wipes off to reveal clean skin, let them eat it.

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0 37

It's so weird that this post was sent to my email as of right now my son had gotten hives and we narrowed it down to peanut butter or strawberries well today I gave him peanut butter again and he broke out in hives.. And it's weird bc he has had peanut butter before and just out of the blue he had an allergic reaction to it.

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0 10

My children were about one. I was nervous, but all was good. I think it is what the parent is comfortable with.

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75 8

I tried peanut butter with my daughter at 1 years old and she vomited it up but I just thought she did not like it. At age 2 she ate a bite of peanut butter cup candy and she vomited that up and got hives so we knew we had to take her in and now we found out she is severely allergic to peanut butter. No history in the family. The specialist told us to feed her other nuts because if we don't she could become allergic to them. Unfortunately my daughter will not eat other nuts because she is a very picky eater.

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4 16

On my doctor's advice, I waited until 2. At the 2-year checkup I gave my son some PB crackers while we were in the office, just to make sure. I have a friend whose son has a severe peanut allergy and I didn't want to find out the hard way. I'm sure it wasn't necessary but it sure eased my peace of mind.

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311 26

This was not by choice, he decided to eat some peanutbutter crackers my husband left on the coffee table. I freaked out, since technically he was not old enough supposedly to eat them. I immediatly called my mother which was within 5 minutes of him eating, since I only caught the tail end of him licking and nawing at the cracker. She asked, is he having trouble breathing, any rashes anything unusual. I said no....she said how long as it been...about five minutes I told her. she said ehh don't worry about it lol. If it was serious he would have already had a reaction. So then I gave him peanuts, nuts, and forms such as peanutbutter lol supervised this time of course lol. The things kids will do when you turn your head for only a second lol BTW I was told 1, to start with items such as this due to the allergic nature it could have, and we were not sure of my family background with it. He was probably 8m or 9m old i think.

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25 8

I gave my son peanut butter at about 10 months. I just gave him some tonight. I just give him very small bites but allergies don't concern me.

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11 30

I was nervous to give my first peanut butter. I dontknow why, I guess just because it seems everyone is allergic to peanuts. I ended up giving her first little bit a little before she was 2, and I mentioned it to her pediatrician at her 2 year check up and the doctor freaked! She said I may have exposed her too early and may have set her up to have an allergy later in life. She said she shouldnt have had it until she was 3.I couldn't believe it. Well,after reading a few things and talking to other moms, I decided I wasn't harming her by giving her peanut butter. She had no reaction, and we have no family history of food allergies. So,she started eatingPB&J at 2. My second is 14.5 months now and she started eating PB&J about a month ago. A major concern besides an allergy is choking. Because peanut butter is so sticky it can pose a choking hazard, so watch out for giving them globs of it. My 14 month old just gets a thin layer spread on bread.

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5 8

18months

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17 23

I think I first gave it to my kids at about 1. My youngest daughter is allergic. She had a mild reaction (rash). Her ped. said some kids grow out of it and to wait until she turned 2 and I could try again. I've tried 2 more times and she still gets a rash. Luckily it is a mild reaction, but she has not grown out of it. She is 2.5 now.

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7 0

Well, my son is definitely - and unfortunately - allergic to a lot of something and we just can't figure out exactly what! SOMETIMES peanut butter makes him break out, but he has gotten to peanuts and items with peanuts in them and been fine. He breaks out from mayo, foods cooked in oils, plain old rice... I mean, poor guy. I'm not sure what it is, but we have to be very careful with nearly everything he eats. He is almost 2 now and I surely hope it sort of phases out - hubby and I are not allergic to anything. My advice is to try peanut butter with an age you're comfortable with, a little at a time. Don't go making him a fat peanut butter and jelly sandwich until you're certain!

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66 14

There is no history of nut allergies in mine or my husbands family, so I started giving my daughters peanut butter when they were 1.

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6 30

There is a history of food allergies in my and my husband's families, including my own food allergies. In our case, my daughter didn't get her first taste of anything peanut until she turned 3, ( a month ago). But as a rule, we are not going to gave peanut butter until my son is old enough to have peanut butter. (just to reduce the risk of him getting his hands on it, they share everything!). We have given him some fries that were cooked in peanut oil, and there has been no reaction, but I guess I am just over-cautious.

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4 10

With a history of allergies, it's better to be safe.

100 47

My little one had fries cooked in peanut oil at 7 months - no issues thankfully. Kids can for sure get allergies at any stage in life - even adults can. As long as they are able to chew well enough and be able to swallow peanut butter (which can get stuck so easily) then just keep an eye on them - it may be as subtle as a rash at first and get worse each time or nothing may happen. I find that just a little bit on toast is more than enough for my 14 month old...just keep an eye on things when giving them anything for the first time for possible reactions - either immediate or delayed...it never hurts to be diligent

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2,843 7

I was told by our pediatrician that I could start around 9 months (mainly due to a possible choking hazard any earlier). My daughter had a lot of teeth at that point though. There is also no family history what so ever of any nut allergies. So it wasn't a worry. I knew that if she had a reaction, it would be minimal for the first time.

I agree with the Almond Butter. Not to mention it isn't as sticky so it is less of a choking hazard.

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30 25

When my kids were little I waited til they were 2 because of it sticking to the roof of their mouth.Now having a grand child with a peanut allergy I would wait until they are atleast that age or a little older.

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