To Introduce or Not to Introduce?


My son is 16 months old and has not been introduced to peanuts. I'm pretty sure there have been no slip ups because only nana and grammie have watched him thus far and they know not to give him peanuts. During my pregnancy and breastfeeding I did not have any peanuts either (what we thought was best at the time). We do not have any nut allergies in the family but my husband and mother have had allergies bad enough to induce skin reactions from grass/trees/dust mites.

My question is.... When should I introduce peanuts? I'm prompted now to introduce so that I can be with him if he has a reaction. He will possibly be going to hourly care here-and-there during my move. I'm worried if he has access to peanuts at hourly care he will have a reaction away from home and away from me.

Would you introduce now in a controlled home environment or just do everything possible to prevent hour care from allowing peanuts? If you would wait--what age would you introduce? Can anyone offer any advice?

By BestAllergySites on Aug 12, 2009


You should of course discuss this with your pediatrician.

However, if there is no history of reaction with your son with peanuts or any other food and no history of any other allergy reaction-then introducing peanuts should be fine.

Doctors used to say to wait until after age 2 or 3 to introduce peanuts. But studies have shown an increase or spike in allergies recently which indicates that perhaps waiting does not help.

Each doctor feels differently. It really depends on a lot of factors. My opinion isn't if you should introduce or not but when. And since doctors have different opinions on it-you should ask yours what his is.

But if there has been no reaction to date to any food-then I see no reason for you to never serve your son peanuts.

I guess my point is that if he hasn't had any reactions to any food-then there is no reason to worry about a food allergy at this time-because there is no history to indicate there is one.

People should not avoid foods in fear of a potential allergy when there is no reason to believe they may have one ie a food allergic reaction.

Hope that helps!

By Moml on Aug 12, 2009

Thanks. I am worried for him to be introduced to peanuts away from home but even more I am worried about causing an allergy. Unfortunately, we haven't figured out why that happens. Thanks for your help!

By BestAllergySites on Aug 12, 2009

No you are right. We do not know yet what causes a food allergy. Keep in mind though that more kids do not have a food allergy than do. Also keep in mind that some think that avoiding foods long term can cause a food allergy in those predisposed.

Again, talk to your doctor to see what his/her thoughts are.