Would "they" please make up their mind on peanut butter?!?

Bethany - posted on 03/09/2009 ( 34 moms have responded )

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So I've heard recently that the "experts" are now saying that peanut butter should be introduced at or near 1 year and that waiting until 2 years has actually been shown to increase the rates of peanut allergies (like 10 times more likely!)! I've been looking for some more information about this but having trouble...has anyone seen any good updates on this anywhere? I found one site reporting on at least one study that has shown this but it seems that most sites are still pushing 2-3 years. Also, what have you been hearing from your doctors lately?



Thanks for any new info you can share! :~D

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Casey - posted on 03/11/2009

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Just do what YOU feel is right. Since both of my kids were little they've always eaten what we have, from peanut butter sandwiches to pasta. In all honesty they were eating Green chicken curry and rice before they were 1!



When it all comes down to it they'll either be allergic or not!



Mothers were around long before doctors!

Melissa - posted on 03/11/2009

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I understand your confusion. I wonder sometimes about all these recommendations and how any of us ever lived to be old enough to have children without someone to tell our parents what not to feed us and when. My Granny use to feed me table food mushed up as soon as I was able to use my teeth to eat it. I ate whatever the family was eating. I was never obese or in poor health, quite the contrary. I plan to use my common sense. I hope to make my some of my own baby food for my child (I bought some good books on purees) and introducing finger foods as she seems able to eat them. My concern with peanut butter would be her ability to swallow it not allergies as they don't run in my family. Shellfish I will have to be more careful with as my BIL is allergic even though my husband and I are not. I asked my friend, a Japanese exchange student, when they feed their children sushi with raw fish in it. We love it and I have never found any "guidelines" on when to introduce anything uncooked. She laughed at me like it was a silly question and said as soon as they can chew it. It is a part of their culture to eat these foods so they don't think about it. Millions of Japanese children eat it. I guess I don't need a study to tell me it must be relatively ok although nothing is guaranteed government study or no. I don't know how a parent can be expected to base their decisions 100% on guidelines when they change every 5 minutes. I do read them and if they make sense I will listen to them. If they don't then I will follow my gut instincts.

[deleted account]

My son is 1 and he tries everything his father and I eat, we've had no problems.  Our doc was actually more concerned about introducing strawberries and shellfish than PB.  I've given my son all 3 although my doc wanted me to wait a little longer with the berries and fish.



I agree that you have to be careful if there's food allergies in the family.  A friend of mine has a lot of food allergies and she has to be very careful when introducing new foods to her daughter. So far her daughter has no allergies.

Lise - posted on 03/11/2009

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The baby food makers say it is safe to put questionable items like berries and tomatos in baby food because the pasteurization process breaks down the protein that is potentially allergenic. I've been making my own so Im out of luck on this one :)

Ellen - posted on 03/11/2009

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Ok, I'm going to throw a whole new twist on this. I have a friend who's daughter ate peanut butter and peanut products all her life. Suddenly, when she was a teenager, she had a violent reaction to a PB sandwich she ate, and ended up hospitalized. Now she can't have any peanut products at all. I'm unsure about any testing that was done, after this, but everyone was baffled! Why now after all this time? Wierd.

Funny but I was washing dishes earlier today and pondering this, too. We are total PB addicts around my house, and every time I wash dishes, there are at least half a dozen knives with PB on them. I could never have a daycare kid who was allergic, there is still traces of PB and stuff on everything even after washing because everything is in the same water, touched by the same cloth, and then I use that cloth to wash table, counters, and doors and stuff before it goes into the laundry! Allery death trap my house is!!

Lorrie - posted on 03/11/2009

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Peanuts contain mold that is why they want you to wait. If your child has allergies don't give it. If you get almond butter salted from the health food store it is very simular to p-butter but much better choice and still contains alot of protien.

Jen - posted on 03/11/2009

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I'm just finishing up my schooling in Early Childhood Education 2, and they've made it clear that giving children peanut butter before the age of two is a no no.
As a mom of two extremely healthy allergy free boys, one is 9 the other is 5, I have to be honest, and say that I was giving my boys peanut butter at the age of 1.
You take a risk at any age, the chances of them surviving a reaction increases the older they are.
The experts say 2.
Good luck!

Vanessa - posted on 03/11/2009

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I gave both of my kids peanut butter at 11 months. I think you should try it and see what works best for your child. Hundreds of years ago, there weren't doctors and specialists to tell the world how to be pregnant, nurse/bottle feed, when to introduce "Stage One" foods and so on. I didn't really do anything according to what "they" said. Both of my kids are extremely healthy and not allergic to anything. Like I said, do what works for your child and what you're comfortable with.

Kelly - posted on 03/11/2009

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Sorry, what I failed to clarify in my long story above, was that he stopped taking all meds by the time he was maybe 14 or so.

Kelly - posted on 03/11/2009

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I know this thread is about food allergies...but, something I thought you all might find interesting since you're discussing how confusing all this allergy (lack of) info is, let me tell you what happened with my oldest. After being very healthy as a young child, all of a sudden, at 7, he had a terrible sinus infection and the dr. said he had developed "allergies" and put him on allergy med. I kept him on it more or less, the dr. had said we could try at different times of year to wean him off, but every time we did, he got another sinus infection within a few weeks. Anyway, at 11, he had what turned out to be (they said the next day) a mild asthma attack, and we were then told that allergies cause asthma (I guess I was dumb, just didn't know that, as there is no family history of any of this), so we had him tested. No food allergies, but he reacted to every single environmental thing tested for (dust, mold, trees, pollen, grass, you get what I mean). They wanted to put him on shots, I said no, not yet, so he stayed on 2-3 allergy/asthma meds for a few years (by the way, he never had another asthma attack). Eventually he just apparently outgrew the allergies. He is 17 and extremely healthy, is outside all the time, all throughout the year, as a serious runner, and never even catches a cold. No one had ever told me that allergies can just disappear, but his did. So there again, is something "they" apparently don't know. Good luck to all in your pursuit of knowledge on this subject LOL...

Melissa - posted on 03/11/2009

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was just at the pediatrician..my son is 18 months old..they said peanut butter is ok to try..

[deleted account]

My son was eating peanut butter from the first sandwhich he had n he was about 7months and he still loves it had no problems. maybe it had something to do with nuts being the one thing i craved when i was pregnent and ate heaps of them.

Connie - posted on 03/11/2009

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I gave my daughter peanut butter at about a year old. Had no problems. There are no hx of anyone in our families with peanut butter allergies. Check with your family to see if there are any allergy hx and when you do give it the first time keep a bottle of benedry for kids just to be safe. I know I was nervous the first time but think about it people years ago gave many foods to there children at young ages that now they tell us not to and there were no problems then.

Malinda - posted on 03/10/2009

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Unfortunately, "they" can't just do one detailed emperical study. Because the risk or bodily harm from a severe allergic reaction is so high no ethics board would allow the definitive "give a third of the participants peanut butter before 1, a third after 1, and a third after 2 and see who gets a deadly peanut allergy" study that might tell us if there *is* a "cut off" point for exposure (and still might tell us nothing anyway). I know *I* probably wouldn't sign my kid up for that. Though I guess the truth is that we are kind of doing that study on our own, without guidance, set numbers, or anyone gathering the data because we as mothers are guessing....



All we can do, I think, is gather data about the children who *already* have allergies and graph it out. Along with general petri-dish immunology studies of course. But still, an answer could be (and probably is) years out.



And in the mean time, we get inconclusive scratch tests and ER doctors who shrug at us. I know... crap trade off.

Bethany - posted on 03/10/2009

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Quoting Malinda:


But you're right - it is frustrating that all the "recommendations" are pure guesses that have no solid evidence as to their effectiveness behind them.


I think what I find most frustrating is that often somewhere along the line those recommendations become "facts" instead of suggestions...I really thought that the 2 year thing was a "rule" with some evidence to back it up.  Now I know better!  :~D



I think we are going to take the slow approach as well...he's just past 8 months now and we are still constantly adding new foods...I don't think he's at the peanut butter consistency type stage yet regardless of allergy potential but definitely will not be waiting until 2 years...



 



I often wonder about what things our kids are going to make fun of us for doing when they become parents!



 



Thanks to everyone for your input...I'm really glad I started investigating this!

Beth - posted on 03/10/2009

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I actually just read something the other day that said earlier exposure, like 9 or 10 months, is best to avoid allergies. I can't handle this back and forth nonsense. I don't like peanuts or peanut butter so now of course I'm terrified that I have doomed my son to nut allergies by not having them while I was preggo. I agree--let's just have one big, detailed study and find out once and for all.

Malinda - posted on 03/10/2009

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I like proof, too, Bethany! Unfortunately I don't think there is enough known about allergies in general to provide any yet. I suspect in 50-100 years this will be one of those things we laugh at ourselves about (like doctors not knowing that washing their hands would prevent the spread of infection 100 years ago) but today "we" are fairly in the dark about how allergies onset and work.



We have chosen to expose our son to small amounts of nut butters (peanut butter and almond butter mostly) and sea foods in the hopes that small exposure does have a preventitive impact. We'll see!



Part of this desicion came from an incident when he was about 8 months old and his face swelled up suddently and for no apparent reason (he hadn't eaten anything or been exposed to any strange plants or other allergens just before it happened). We took him to the ER, and by the time our hour wait was up the swelling had gone down and the doctor literally shrugged at us. Not willing to take "idunno" for an answer we found the ONE allergist in the state who would test infants and had a scratch test done. We STILL got no answer as to what had caused the swelling (and it hasn't happened since) but we did learn that he had no allergies to tree nuts or sea foods. I'm hoping that allergies are a little like some other immune system issues and by exposing him to small amounts now he will build up a tolerance. I guess we won't really know for a few years, though!



But you're right - it is frustrating that all the "recommendations" are pure guesses that have no solid evidence as to their effectiveness behind them.

Bethany - posted on 03/10/2009

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Ok- so my overall take on this is that there just isn't enough proof to really back up choosing one timeline over the other so unless there are risk factors present all foods are fair game after 6 months. Too bad for me....I like proof! :~)

Mel - posted on 03/10/2009

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Quoting Kristin:



I've been wondering the same thing Bethany. I have a 14 month old and would love to give him some peanut butter. But I'm waiting till his  15 month doctors visit to talk to him about it and see what he has to say about it. But no I haven't  seen anything new on the news or anything.





 



 



Kristin - it is safe to do so even under 4 months! if they r going to have a reaction they r going t have it at any age. my daughter has spent most of her 11 months in and out of hospital and tehrefore deals with lots of different child professionals at least 3 times a week and they have recommended we start her on all kinds of foods! as i posted earlier on here.

Mel - posted on 03/10/2009

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Hi Bethany my daughter is 11 months and sees alot of profesionals as she has extra needs and the dietitions, paediatricians and speech pathology departments not reccomend peanut butter from as soon as u start solids as they now say it prevents allergies if it is introduced sooner. I was also told to introduce almost everything my partner and I are eating from an early age even eggs and spicy foods.

Kim - posted on 03/09/2009

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I agree with the "too clean theory". I have never sterilized bottles other than after initially buying them and I've absolutely never boiled water to make a bottle. That is absurd. I'm a nurse and a little bacteria can do the body good in my opinion. My kids are never sick either. My youngest is 4 months old and has never even had a cold. That is unheard of these days especially with 2 older brothers. One that attends elementary school.

As far as the peanut butter. I introduced PB at 1 yr of age. Neither of them had any type of reaction...it's up to you. I also gave them shellfish around a year too. Not that they had it regularly, but they were introduced to it.

Rabecca - posted on 03/09/2009

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With my first kid I didnt know not to give it to her, I also gave her honey.. both before 1 year. and she was fine. The only thing I actually worry about is the dairy products. If kids are going to be allergic it doenst really matter what age they try it

Dawn - posted on 03/09/2009

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i totally agree with you guys on that!! my kids are never sick and i'm by no means a "clean freak"! must be why i guess:) my step father read somewhere that he should be washing fruit with soap and water!!! what????? rinsing them with water to remove dirt yes. he gave my daughter an apple that he washed with soap and now she won't eat them with the skin on anymore because he obviously didn't rinse it very well.

Bethany - posted on 03/09/2009

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Quoting Amy:

Kids in 3rd world countries have way fewer allergies and asthma than we do in the US, one theory is that we're too clean! Not that we should adopt 3rd world practices, but we maybe go a little overobard. 


 



I agree with your "too clean" theory.  This is just my opinion- I'm certainly no expert on this subject!  I think it's a double edged sword, too- we clean away all the good germs and the germs that help their bodies learn what to do with germs...and we (often) introduce even more chemincals into their world with the products we use.  I used this reasoning as my excuse not to sterilize bottles or boil water!  Although I do need to be more careful with my cleaning products...



 

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Quoting Amy:

My doctor and I actually had this discussion when my son was a baby. I've studied immunology, both in college and on my own, and I think the reason we see so many kids with food allergies now is because we wait too long to feed them. When I was a baby, it was common to start babies on rice cereal at 4 to 6 weeks, but now we are told to wait until they are at least 6 months old. I don't think thier immune systems are challenged early enough, so they over-react when they finally do start eating and all these foreign substances enter their bodies. Especially if you breast feed and their getting all your antibodies, they don't need to make their own. Kids in 3rd world countries have way fewer allergies and asthma than we do in the US, one theory is that we're too clean! Not that we should adopt 3rd world practices, but we maybe go a little overobard. My husband's from Guatemala, and asthma and allergies are almost unheard of there.

Amen sistah!!!  My husband is from Venezuela and says the same exact thing... and it is very true.  I think we become paranoid with all the information we get.

Amy - posted on 03/09/2009

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My doctor and I actually had this discussion when my son was a baby. I've studied immunology, both in college and on my own, and I think the reason we see so many kids with food allergies now is because we wait too long to feed them. When I was a baby, it was common to start babies on rice cereal at 4 to 6 weeks, but now we are told to wait until they are at least 6 months old. I don't think thier immune systems are challenged early enough, so they over-react when they finally do start eating and all these foreign substances enter their bodies. Especially if you breast feed and their getting all your antibodies, they don't need to make their own. Kids in 3rd world countries have way fewer allergies and asthma than we do in the US, one theory is that we're too clean! Not that we should adopt 3rd world practices, but we maybe go a little overobard. My husband's from Guatemala, and asthma and allergies are almost unheard of there.



To your peanut question -- I started my son with PB when he was about a year old. With foods such as peanuts or shellfish where the first reaction can be severe, you want to wait, and then give them only very small amounts. When you start them off with just a teeny amount, it works somewhat like the allergy desensitisation shots -- small amounts of an allergen "teaches" the immune system not to over react.

[deleted account]

In my opinion the whole thing about allergies is ridiculous...my daughters pediatrician said those are just "reccommended" guidelines.  As children grow they can develop allergies on there own to things they had previously been exposed to.  For example my daughter had been eating fish and eggs for over 6 months then one day she had a reacation, I had her tested and now she is severely allergic to fish and egg WTF????  was my initial thought but it happens.  I say try a litlle and do it sporadically to give the body enough time to process it and react if it needs to.

[deleted account]

In my opinion the whole thing about allergies is ridiculous...my daughters pediatrician said those are just "reccommended" guidelines.  As children grow they can develop allergies on there own to things they had previously been exposed to.  For example my daughter had been eating fish and eggs for over 6 months then one day she had a reacation, I had her tested and now she is severely allergic to fish and egg WTF????  was my initial thought but it happens.  I say try a litlle and do it sporadically to give the body enough time to process it and react if it needs to.

[deleted account]

I had my son eating pp&j at about 8 mos old - tuna fish sandwich's also. My Dr originally told me 2 years, but wasn't displeased when I told him as he was on quite a lot of soft table food at that age. My Dr told me that the allergy depends on the family - if there are a lot of allergies (in particular food allergies) in the family there is a good chance my son would have them. Since there are no food allergies in our family he felt it would be unlikely my son would not have any. He never said anything about no fish.

Dawn - posted on 03/09/2009

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we gave our daughter peanut butter at a year old reluctantly. i say that only because my husband's brother is deathly allergic to pecans. he can have peanut butter though. the dr. said that it is rare for my child to have the same reaction seeing how it is her uncle with the allergy but it could still happen. so she said to go ahead with the peanut butter but to wait on all other nuts until 6 years to be safe. but dr's go back and forth with everything. first they said eggs were ok and then they weren't until one year...however i have found baby food with eggs in it. and they say no fish till they are 2 but again i found baby food with salmon in it. i'm sooooo confused.

Amie - posted on 03/09/2009

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I have a doctor's appointment today. I'll ask her and see what she says. Things are always changing it seems. It's sometimes a pain but what can ya do? lol

Bethany - posted on 03/09/2009

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I just found another article about this:

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/...

And this is a quote from the AAP link mentioned in the article:

Although solid foods should not be introduced before
4 to 6 months of age, there is no current convincing
evidence that delaying their introduction beyond this
period has a significant protective effect on the development
of atopic disease regardless of whether infants
are fed cow milk protein formula or human
milk. This includes delaying the introduction of foods
that are considered to be highly allergic, such as fish,
eggs, and foods containing peanut protein.
(PS- Atopic disease is defined as: Clinical disease characterized by atopy;
typically refers to atopic dermatitis, asthma, allergic rhinitis, and food allergy.)

The more I look into it, the more it seems that all of the recommendations have been made with very little data to back them up- so it really is just a guessing game. :~(

Kristin - posted on 03/09/2009

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I've been wondering the same thing Bethany. I have a 14 month old and would love to give him some peanut butter. But I'm waiting till his  15 month doctors visit to talk to him about it and see what he has to say about it. But no I haven't  seen anything new on the news or anything.

Cheryl - posted on 03/09/2009

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My daughter was a year, and we gave her peanut butter- she ate it for about 2 mths and then one day broke out into a rash, had trouble breathing and her face swelled up. I took her to the hosptial, and then to our family doctor. He sent us to an specialist- she is allergic to peanut butter and chances are she will not grow out of it. I would wait.



I also have 2 sons and we did the same thing and they were fine- I guess it depends on the child. Cause my sons are fine and can eat it but since my daughter can't- we don't have it in the house. Hope this helps

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