Ottawa – Worried about peanut allergies in children? A practice article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) outlines five things to know about early introduction of peanuts in infants to reduce the risk of peanut allergy.
- Infants who are fed peanut protein regularly have a lower risk of peanut allergy.
- To prevent peanut allergy, peanut protein (such as peanut butter or powdered puff) may be introduced at home for most babies between 4 and 6 months as one of the first foods.
- Babies with severe eczema are more likely to have peanut allergy, and those with no or only mild eczema are best-suited for peanut introduction in the home.
- Infants with risk factors for peanut allergy, such as severe eczema, egg allergy or both, should be seen by a specialist before peanut therapy introduction.
To reduce the risk of peanut allergy, 8 grams of peanut protein (1 heaped teaspoon of peanut butter) should be eaten at least twice a week.