When can I safely let my non-PA son try peanuts?


(This is a cross-post from the Introduction board)

I'm the fortysomething mom of a toddler who does not have PA, but whose maternal grandfather, my dad, had severe PA. I refrained from peanuts myself during pregnancy and while breastfeeding and am wondering, now he's two, if it's safe to introduce peanuts or whether to wait another 10 months til he's three (currently he eats soy butter). Thanks for your insights. Editing in some additional info: My older sister's son, now 11, does not have PA, neither does anyone else in my family. I have not been careful with my son except to avoid things labelled to contain peanuts. He doesn't get a lot of candy or cookies so that saves a lot of worry. The issue was raised by his day care provider yesterday (did I still want him not to have pb now he was two, and I said I wanted to wait til he was three). I have pollen/dust/cat allergies but Ben hasn't ever seemed to have a reaction to any food (handles eggs, wheat, soy, fish, etc, with no problem, though he hasn't had shellfish yet).

On Feb 22, 2002


I don't know of the recommended age for introducing peanuts these days, but I can tell you that our youngest is 3 years 4 months and hasn't had any yet. We probably won't let him have any until the summer before he enters Kindergarten, at which time we'll also have him tested for the allergy. He has already been skin tested once, and it was negative, but since he hasn't eaten any peanuts yet, we can't say for sure that the test result was accurate.

This is definitely a judgement call. If I absolutely needed to know right now, I'd probably go ahead and do what was necessary to find out, but if not, I'd hold off longer.

Good luck, and take care, Tammy

On Feb 22, 2002

Thanks. It's frustrating because as I'm sure you know most pediatricians know next to nothing about PA. I'm following the UK guidelines.

Are you PA or are your older children?

On Feb 22, 2002


When I was introducing foods to my twins, my doctor (this is almost 5 years ago), said that she read new research recommending if any kind of allergies ran in your family and especially if you or husband had them to not introduce Peanut or shellfish until the age of 3 or 4. My now pregnant friend said all the stuff she is reading say the same thing. I would wait till 3, have benadryl in the cupboard, it sounds like your familiar with the allergy so you know what to look for as far as a reaction. Just to note though, I never gave any peanut products to my twins and they were 4 months shy of turning 3 , my son had a reaction to a chocolate chip cookie my sister had made, then later I found out she had put 1/4 cup of peanut butter in the 36 she made. So, would he have been better off until waiting till 4? maybe but who really knows. I was going to try them on it when they were 3 anyway.

On Feb 22, 2002

Thanks, I think I'll go with my gut and wait til he's three and have Benadryl on hand. When I say my dad's allergy was severe, it was only to ingested peanut, not as far as I know contact or airborne. The few times he ingested peanuts I don't think he ever had to go to the ER; I've always put the allergy down to his being a Depression era baby who was fed solids, including pb, early and often.

On Feb 22, 2002


My oldest has PA - he's 5 now, we found out when he was 18 months.

Where in VA are you from? We lived in Russell County for 6 years. We miss the beauty of VA!!!


On Feb 24, 2002


I would wait until your child is at least three, as other people have suggested. For what it's worth, when I was pregnant with my oldest son (now nearly 7 years old), nothing I read suggested that I avoid pb while pregnant or breastfeeding, and I had no known food allergies at the time, so I did eat moderate amounts of pb during both pregnancy and bfing (other than during my last trimester and the first few months after my son was born, when I didn't eat pb at all since I was on a medically-required fat free diet).

I was aware enough of PA, though, to not allow my son to have any peanut products (other than "may contain"s) until he was 3. He ended up not liking pb at first and didn't start consuming it regularly until he was 5 or so, as I recall.

His PA didn't show up until shortly after his 6th birthday, which appears to be unusual. Also, thank goodness, his symptoms and sensitivity so far seem to be milder than most of the other PA kids I've heard/read of. Although I'm disappointed that keeping him away from peanuts until 3 didn't totally prevent the allergy from developing, some part of me thinks that maybe keeping him away from peanuts that long may have helped make his symtoms a bit milder, and if nothing else, when they did develop, he was at an age where he could tell me what was wrong -- I wasn't in the position of trying to decipher the crying of a toddler who couldn't explain what the problem was.

For what it's worth, Debbie

On Feb 24, 2002

For what it's worth... I have discovered that we are not born with the enzyme to digest nuts, and develop the enzyme between the ages of three and four. There are some people who believe that this is part of the reason the number of people with PA is increasing. I'm not sure what I believe, but my younger son will not be exposed to peauts until after he turns four. It's all about that comfort zone piece. Stay safe, and good luck making this difficult decision. Kristi

On Feb 25, 2002

Dear Skanb,

this sounds interesting were did you hear about it? Is there a published study or research? What is the name of this enzime.... sounds very interesting please advise. Thanks in advance.