New guidelines from the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases trump everything I was told regarding peanuts when I had my first baby — and that was only eight years ago. While parents previously had been told to hold off on that first PB&J until age one, the guidelines released today declare that we need to introduce kids to peanuts sooner — a lot sooner.
The new recommendation (please read on before grabbing that jar of Jif) is to introduce prior to six months.
The document, which is, admittedly, a little bit difficult to navigate, offers three guidelines:
- Guideline 1 is for infants who are considered high-risk for a peanut allergy — those who have severe eczema and/or an egg allergy.
- Guideline 2 is for infants who have mild-to-moderate eczema.
- Guideline 3 is for infants who have neither eczema nor a food allergy. Interesting to note, for infants who fall into the Guideline 3 category, the recommendation is to treat peanuts like you’d treat any other food!
Do a search on the document (hit command F or CTRL F, if you have a Mac or a PC, respectively) for “Guideline 1” (or “Guideline 2” or “Guideline 3”) to see the outlined recommendations.
Of course, we urge you to check in with your pediatrician first before implementing any new guidelines.
These new guidelines could mean that we see a drop in peanut allergy diagnoses in the future. Got one kid with food allergies and one without? Check out some of our suggestions here.