The fear of peanut allergy is enough to make parents postpone introducing peanut butter
It’s a very positive step that many parents know that peanuts could possibly cause a severe or fatal allergic reaction. The public’s knowledge about peanut allergy is a step forward for children who need
to be guarded from this legume at day care, preschool, kindergarten, and into elementary school if they are allergic to it. Whether to begin feeding peanut butter to your toddler at age 1, 2, or 3 depends on several things.
If your child has other allergies, it’s probably best to wait
Common food allergies in toddlers are allergies to milk or eggs. If your child is allergic to either of these, you have probably been to the allergist already. The safest way to know when to begin feeding a toddler peanut butter is to ask your child’s allergist. The doctor will probably tell you that your toddler
should have an allergy test to see if he has an allergy to peanuts and peanut products.
If peanut allergies run in your family, you should have your toddler tested by an allergist
When a toddler’s parent, sibling, or other family member has been diagnosed as being allergic to peanut products, it is more likely that this child is also allergic to this food. Rather than risk a severe reaction, a skin test is an easy way to know if an allergy to peanuts exists. Some allergists have children with peanut allergies in their family take a challenge test in a hospital setting. The toddler is given a tiny amount of peanut butter and then observed. The child is safe because if any hives, rash, trouble breathing, or itching around the mouth begin to occur, the medical team can take
quick action to help the child.
If your child is in day care or preschool, it may be best to feed the toddler peanut butter at home
Toddlers without any allergies or eczema who have no known relatives who are allergic to peanuts should be introduced to peanut butter at home. Many people do not feed their one-year old peanut butter because of the possibility that the child could choke on it. The peanut butter needs to be spread in a very thin layer on a cracker or piece of bread. After the
toddler eats a bite or two, the snack should be removed and the child should be observed for any allergic reaction. Repeat the small bites the next few days and continue to look for any peanut allergy symptoms.
It is safer for your toddler to eat peanut butter at home in case of a reaction
Most parents feel safer introducing peanut butter at home when they can observe their child and respond quickly to get emergency help if there is any severe reaction to the peanut butter. Otherwise, a toddler may be given a cookie with peanut butter or another food when she is at day care. Introducing this food at home can provide the peace of mind that a severe
allergic reaction won’t occur when you’re not around. Of course, it’s always best to consult with your child’s doctor before feeding any new food.