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How to Prevent Peanut Allergy in Infants

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peanut allergy prevention in infants

This information has been reviewed and approved by Bruce J. Lanser, MD (January 2017).

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Summary: How to Prevent Peanut Allergy in Infants

Children who have significant eczema or other food allergies are at risk for developing a peanut allergy.

Introducing peanut-containing foods to these infants early and safely can reduce the possibility of developing peanut allergy by 81 percent. Talk with your physician before introducing your infant to peanut-containing foods, because allergy testing may be needed, and follow your physician’s recommendations.


New Guidelines: Introducing Peanut-Containing Foods:

Your Infant HasThe RecommendationWhen to Introduce Peanut Foods
No eczema or food allergyIntroduce peanut-containing foods.Age-appropriate manner (4-6 months of age) according to family preferences and culture.
Mild to moderate eczemaIntroduce peanut-containing foods per physician instruction.Around 6 months of age and according to family preferences and culture.
Severe eczema, egg allergy or bothEvaluation with allergy testing to determine if peanut should be introduced into your infant’s diet and what is the safest way to introduce it.4 to 6 months in consultation with your pediatrician and/or allergist.

Expose children to foods in the first year of life to possibly reduce risk of food allergy and eczema.


First Foods

At 4-6 months of age, begin introducing age-appropriate first foods.

Isolate foods and keep a food diary — introduce single-ingredient foods and don’t introduce multiple new foods at the same time. Try these foods at home, not at day-care or a restaurant.

  • Rice or oat cereal
  • Yellow & orange vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Green vegetables
  • Age-appropriate staged foods with meats


Top Allergenic Foods

If first foods are tolerated, begin age appropriate forms of allergenic foods and record in food diary.

  • Eggs
  • Milk besides whole cow’s milk (after 1 year of age)
  • Soy
  • Peanuts & tree nuts (in butter form, not whole nuts due to choking hazard)
  • Wheat
  • Fish
  • Shellfish


General Advice

Certain children should be seen by an allergist before introducing these allergenic foods, including those with moderate to serve eczema that is difficult to control and those who have previously reacted to a food or already have a food allergy.


More Information on Pediatric Food Allergy