what you need to know about babies and peanut butter

The recommendations for this have changed significantly over the years. Today, both the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) say it is acceptable to introduce peanut butter or paste to babies between 4 months and 6 months of age. They do not recommend delaying the introduction of peanut products to reduce allergy risk.

However, whole nuts can be a choking hazard for babies, so peanut butter is okay while peanuts are not.

For years, parents were told that babies and peanut butter just don’t mix. In fact, it was common practice to hold off introducing any nuts (including peanut butter) until age 3. Research on the timing of introducing peanuts has had conflicting results. However, a large study in Israel, where peanuts are often introduced when babies are less than 4 months old, found that early introduction of peanut protein actually decreases the risk of developing a

Peanut butter can be a healthy addition to your baby’s diet as soon as he’s ready to try solid foods.

Start with a small spoonful and don’t mix it with other first foods (fruits, veggies, cereals, meats). Be sure to introduce your little one to peanut butter at home and watch closely for any allergic reactions. If you spot any signs of a peanut allergy (see below), call your pediatrician right away.

And, of course, if your infant is having difficulty breathing, dial 911. Also, it is important to never give a child under 3 years of age whole peanuts because these pose a choking hazard.