New NIAD guidelines recommend introducing peanuts to your little one earlier than ever before (exact timing depends on your kiddo’s risk of developing allergy). But just to be clear, just because peanuts are safe from an ALLERGY perspective DOES NOT mean that peanuts are safe for kids under one as they pose a choking risk. Peanuts themselves can get lodged in your kids throat, and peanut butter is sticky enough to do the same. The real advice is not to give PEANUTS but rather PEANUT PRODUCTS.
So- whats a parent to do? Since I think peanut butter is G-d’s gift to the world so I was very excited to introduce it to my kids as soon as possible. Some of the ways we’ve SAFELY tried peanut butter include
1. Mixed into infant cereal. Especially if you aren’t sure your little one will like it, this is a great way to try peanut butter! You typically have to add a little bit more breast milk or formula than you normally would to the cereal because the peanut butter will make it thicker.
2. Mix into yogurt or fruit puree. If you would eat parfait for breakfast why can’t the kids!
3. Making recipes such as peanut chicken using peanut butter in a sauce rather than on its own. Just remember to be sure that your child has had everything else in the recipe first.
4. Bake peanut butter muffins when you are comfortable with that texture
5. Freeze peanut butter dots! line a baking sheet with parchment paper and make mini dots of peanut butter before freezing them (size would be maybe a 1/4 of a pinky nail). Being frozen means that as your child sucks on the dot they are getting significantly less peanut butter at a time than they would if it was at room temperature.
6. And then there is good old fashioned bamba. The nice thing about Bamba is that it dissolved in your mouth the same way kids puffs do. So it’s a nice alternative as you start to introduce new textures.
The bottom line is- no peanuts but feel free to experiment with other peanut containing foods when your family feels comfortable to introduce them (and your allergist feels you should).
It’s still best to give your child peanut products earlier in the day, not right before bed time, to be sure to give enough time to check for a potential reaction. And of course ALWAYS follow the advice of your Paediatrician or allergist!