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I swear that I have never been as confused as I have been since I became a parent. There is so much advice out there, and a lot of it directly contradicts each other. Now I know why you’re told over and over to trust your instincts — it’s the only thing you can trust!
Today there is news regarding the dreaded peanut allergies that have been on the rise and can pose a deadly danger for children. Just at my last doctor’s visit, I was told to wait until my son was 3 or even 5 years old before introducing peanuts. (My doctor also said that if she could give each patient a teaspoon of water from the Ganges, that would probably prevent a lot of allergies; apparently, babies in developing world settings have much fewer allergies than babies in more sanitized Western homes.)
Now it seems that the American Academy of Pediatricians is recommending introducing peanuts now at 4-6 months old! Since peanuts themselves pose a choking hazard, I guess they mean in peanut butter or incorporated into other foods.
Of course, I will still follow my doctor’s advice, but I ate a lot of peanuts and peanut butter while pregnant and nursing. Maybe that will give him some protection.
It seems that introducing peanuts earlier actually reduces the risk of allergy. This actually makes sense to me. After all, my baby is less likely to be allergic to dogs because he is crawling through a scrum of dog hair. Why wouldn’t it work the same way with food allergies?
Which just begs the question, what other allergenic foods might be okay earlier? What about egg whites? Wheat? Milk? Maybe obsessing over every little thing baby eats has been making these problems worse, not better.
What do you think?
- Science News: Food Allergy Advice May Be Peanuts
- Green Daily: Consuming Peanuts in Infancy Lessens Risk of Allergy, Study Says