New Rules About Babies Eating Peanut Butter Are Confusing & Stressful

baby eatingTrying to figure out which foods are okay to give your baby and when is one of the more confusing things about parenthood. Unlike innately knowing what to do when your child is fussy or tired, feeding baby solids gets tricky in the sense that, well, you don't want your kid to have a Mason Disick-style allergic reaction. But now -- sorry moms and dads -- things are about to get even more perplexing. An article by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says that highly allergic foods like peanut butter, fish, and eggs can be introduced earlier as opposed to later. Actually, it's being recommended (by some). The belief is that allowing your baby to try these foods as early as 4 to 6 months may help prevent future allergies.

What? Isn't this against everything we've been hearing?

One theory behind this new school of thought is that when you wait to introduce certain foods to the body, the immune system treats them as foreign substances and attacks, resulting in an allergy. Makes total sense. But still. This is a 180 from what pediatricians starting telling parents in 2000 -- to hold off having milk until age 1, eggs until 2, and peanuts, shellfish, tree nuts, and fish until 3. Yes, these guidelines were revised in 2008, but didn't say when and how to introduce these foods. And I've never heard of anyone giving their 4-month-old eggs, shrimp, or peanut butter.

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David Fleischer, co-author of the article and a pediatric allergist, stated: "There's been more studies that find that if you introduce them early it may actually prevent food allergy. We need to get the message out now to pediatricians, primary-care physicians, and specialists that these allergenic foods can be introduced early." But he added that more study results are needed to conclusively determine whether early introduction of these foods will lead to lower food-allergy rates -- and whether they should be recommended as a practice. Wait, what?

As usual, there's conflicting, baffling, contradictory information on what's best for our kids. Awesome. From what I've always been told/read/heard, you should wait until your baby is at least 1 year old to introduce these foods, so that's what I'm sticking to. Granted, I only have two months to go, but still, it's what I'm comfortable with. And not just for allergy reasons -- can't babies choke on peanut butter? Seems like a weird thing to give a 6-month-old.

Did you give any of these foods to your baby before they were a year?


Image via devinf/Flickr

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ashjo85 ashjo85

I did scrambled eggs at about 9 months, when self-feeding gets going. And my 8 month old has had milk containing products (a baby yogurt, some stirred into morning oatmeal). If our family had a history of food allergies, I think I'd have held off longer, but I didn't see any reason.

nonmember avatar CrystalMP

I gave me oldest PB&J sandwiches when he was like 6 months old (cut up of course) and my youngest was given shrimp when he was 8 months old. The rules just completely slipped my mind on that one but eggs I didnt introduce until they were both a year old

miche... micheledo

The ONLY food I waited for one year was honey.

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

I think it makes complete sense. We gave tastes of peanut butter before a year and eggs they had BY a year.

Stephanie Anne-Marie Miracle

lmao well my kids are screwed. they all had eggs, milk, and fish before age 1. to be fair my 19month old has a milk allergy now, but they said hes had it since birth they just never tested until they (finally) listened about him not ganing weight. But i dont see the big deal. he hasnt had straight pb yet but hes had like pb cereal. and my two oldest (ones 4 today and one is almost 3) have had pbj sandwiches. now big deal. people overreact way too much now a days.

nonmember avatar MammaMel

I did, but he has NO family history of ANY allergies (not even hay fever)...and I gave him LOCAL honey at about 10 months because it's the best way to prevent allergies. My thought was: it's like pets, if you have them as a kid you are less likely to be allergic.

brand... brandspanknnew

We have little to no food allergies in my family history and my SO's history; so my 11 month old daughter eats eggs with us for breakfast all the time. She has had milk, yogurt, and pudding.

Coles... Coles_mom

I've always said what this article is stating. My kids have eaten/tasted eggs and peanut butter since they were very small and they don't have any allergies. I tend to let me kids taste about anything in eating even when they're just a few months old (yes, I said TASTE, not eat a full meal). The only reason they don't eat shellfish is because I don't myself. Nasty.

nonmember avatar Blue

But if an infant does have a severe allergic reaction to a new food, they are much harder to manage (intubation, medication, and other support) than a toddler. That's why our pediatrician still recommends waiting. She said she'd much rather treat anaphylaxis in a two-year-old than an infant. I think that's an important piece of the puzzle to consider, especially if food allergies run in your family.

Jespren Jespren

Eggs are one of the best foods for kids! They are nearly a 'complete' food and have lots of good iron and protein. Eggs have almost everything a body needs. My breastfed babies have all had eggs as very nearly their first solid food (scrambled). But then, we do baby-led weaning/feeding. So they eat what they are ready for. They eat what the family eats, just like kids have done forever past. I wait til closer to a year for peanut butter just because it's so messy and thick. But with no family allergies, eggs, fish, meats, fruits, veggies, grains, etc, are just fed to them as we have them for meals. This morning my 6 month old picked up and ate little pancakes with cinnamon.

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