35 answers

At What Age Do You Let Children Eat Peanut Butter?

I have heard mixed reviews on this issue so I decided to ask everyone here because I have always received such good advice. At what age do you introduce peanut butter? I was told not until 4-5 because of the allergy factor. Someone said after 1 years it is ok. I am very confused and I am concerned about the allergy issue as I have a food allergy and have friends with the peanut allergy; so I know how difficult/dangerous it is to have a food allergy.
Thanks in advance for all your advise.

1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone!!! There was a lot of great advise given. I was in the middle of switching pediatricians when I posted my question. We will see the new pediatrician Wednesday; so I will ask for her opinion then. I have decided to wait as long as possible; however, that said my son some how "stole" a cracker with peanut butter on it from another child at daycare last week and there was no reaction (thank god!).

Featured Answers

They sell many substitutes to peanut butter such as soy nut butter & sunflower seed butter. I think they taste quite similar and you won't have the anxiety of giving him peanut butter. You can wait the 4-5 years that was suggested.
I've bought mine at Waldbaums or whole foods.
My younger son is allergic to peanuts and my older son is not. We've removed all the nuts from the house. My older son doesn't care that we changed the product although we do call it "soy nut butter and jelly sandwich" so that he knows he is not getting peanut butter.
Good luck.

More Answers

Hi J.,

I am reading the advice you are receiving with equal interest because I'm confused as well about it (my 17 month old has already had peanut butter though).

I did want to add in response to the recent post about sugary peanut butter that there are plenty of "natural" peanut butters with nothing in them but peanuts! Not even salt...and that is what I use.

So there are options for you.

K. C

If your LO has had foods with peanuts in them before (think of any snacks or cereals you have offered) with no incident and your family doesn't have a history of peanut/legume allergies, I would consider introducing them with caution. Watch carefully for any hives or other reactions (suddenly poor sleeping, trouble breathing, changes in eliminations, rashes, etc)

IF however there is a history of allergies (anaphylactic in particular) in your family to molds or legumes, I would delay introduction until you feel safe testing it. Also, when you decide to introduce peanuts consult your allergist as to the best way to introduce and what signs to watch out for.

We were told by our pediatrician that they were advising parents 18 months or 2 years old. Now they are saying 3 years old.


J. - there are no allergies in my family, so we waited until my daughter was 1 to give her peanut butter. If you DO have allergies in your family, it's best to talk to a pediatrician.

You have been given some good advice but I want to add to what other posters have said. If you or your DH have ANY allergies, your child has a higher chance of developing a food allergy. Like you, I have food allergies. I was told to wait until my son was 3 to try peanuts and tree nuts.

My youngest has many food allegeries, but not peanuts. But being in the food allergy environment, I believe if noone in your (or your husband's) family has the peanut allergy, then 2 yrs old is good. If someone in the family tree has the peanut allergy, then DO NOT have peanuts while you are pregnant and the child should not have peanuts until at least 5 years old.

hi J., i am allergic to tree nuts, so is my mom, but neither of us are allergic to peanuts (thank goodness!!!!) i was told no peanuts while pregnant, while nursing, or until the kids are at least 3. one doc also told me no berries until at least 3. so, when my oldest was 3, i gave him berries and it was fine. he still hasnt had nuts or peanuts, he is 5 now. i had asked the doc at 3, one told me to try, another one told me to hold off as long as i can, that the later you introduce it the less chance they have of developing the allergy, which is what i have read. so he still hasnt had it, neither has my daughter who will be 3 next month. i think i will have to introduce it to my son over the summer since he will be starting kindergarten in sept and i should know. also, i have just recently read a new study that now says that none of this is true, that it makes no difference! so, who knows, it just depends who you ask, but i know how it is to have allergies, its scary, so i am sticking with the plan for my 2 younger kids too. i have a friend whos son is extremely allergic to everything, and he is actually considering homeschooling because of it! so, ill do what i can. i have been pregnant or nursing for 6 years, i miss peanut butter SO BAD!

Hi. From the mouth of my pediatrician...old guard docs say 1 year is okay. HOWEVER, new guard doctors & medial journals report it is best to wait until 4-5 then introduce in minor amounts for reaction/response.

Also the advice of Benadyrl on hand is great, but for a rapid allergy Benadryl is not going to work. Get an EpiPen(script) on hand to assist for severe reactions when time is of the essence.

**EpiPen is a prescription med - parents/patients should ask their physician about the circumstances under which this life-saving medication should be used.

Doctors are an excellent resource and by asking them questions you can learn more. For a free information kit: www.epipen.com/freekit_main.aspx

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