March 01, 2007,
V.B. asks from Pompano Beach, FL on February 26, 2007
When Can a Child Start Eating Peanut Butter?
I have a 14 month old daughter and I know that you aren't supposed to give babies peanut butter because of the possibility of allergies, but I have been reading about diet and nutrition recently to try to figure out how to get my little one to eat something besides hot dogs and chicken nuggets and a book I was reading suggested peanut butter. Is it okay to give a 14 month old peanut butter or should I wait until she is 2? Any advice would be great. Also, any thoughts on how to expand my daughters' menu would be greatly appreciated. She has just started really fighting me in the last week or so, so I could use some advice. She just recently started eating meat voluntarily, but by meat I mean chicken nuggets, bologna or hot dogs. She is beginning a vegetable strike. She eats tons of fruit and loves yogurt, so I guess it isn't all bad, but I feel like I'm in a rut with her menu....please help!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you all for your advice. I was really just looking for something new to try to feed her that she might like, but I've decided to hold off on the peanut butter for now. My hubby just got a new job and our insurance doesn't kick in until April 1st, so we're on COBRA. We just moved and I don't have a new pedi yet for my little one, so I don't think it's a good idea to introduce anything that might cause such a severe reaction right now until I know we have a trusted Doctor and a hospital nearby in case anything were to happen. I will at least wait until her 15 month appointment in April and ask our new doctor at that point. Maybe they can just go ahead and test her so that I will know for sure before I give it to her. Thanks again!
L.D. answers from San Antonio on February 28, 2007
I absolutely would not give peanut butter until age 2 and even wait until later if their are allergy issues. My son's allergist recommended age 4 for him because he had slight allergy issues. Dealing with a peanut allergy is so scary and difficult because it is in so many foods and is so life-threatening. So even though tons of moms may tell you that their one-year olds did fine with it, early introduction of this particular food COULD cause a life-long allergy. One, it is simply NOT woth that. And two, there are so many other foods with protein (beans) and substitutes to peanut butter(soy nut butter, tahini). Also, besides hot dogs being a choking hazard, numerous medical studies have linked frequent consumption of hot dogs in children to leukemia due to the amount of nitrites, which are present in bologna as well.
C.L. answers from Dallas on February 28, 2007
I started giving my daughter peanut butter at age 1 (spread very thinly on bread or crackers). She loved it and no reactions. She is 19 months old now. She is a picky eater also and what she likes today she may not like tomorrow so I know how you feel. The only veggies she will eat are peas and corn. I'm going to take some of the suggestions from these posts and start putting veggies in foods she will eat like mac and cheese.
C.P. answers from San Diego on February 27, 2007
My daughter is 18 months old and I give her peanut butter, she loves it. It's honey you want to stay away from until they are 2 because of all the allergens.
S.L. answers from Dallas on February 27, 2007
This has always been a great help for me when trying to figure out what was right for each stage of my childs develpment http://www.babycenter.com/refcap/baby/babyfeeding/1400680...
It says that @ 12-18 months it is ok to introduce PB... but everyone is different. If there are no known allergies in the family then you should be ok to try it. Mine was right @ 1yr when I gave it to her (in very small amounts at 1st).
www.babycenter.com has lots of helpful info & I refer to it often. Mine is only 13 months now & I kinda feel in a rut too. She loves her veggies, but she gets lots of viena sausages & sandwich meats. It's so easy & convienent, but she seems to be getting tired of it.
E.M. answers from Dallas on February 28, 2007
You could try making her sandwiches with tahini instead of peanut butter. Tahini is like peanut butter, but it is made from sesame seeds instead of peanuts. You can find it at Whole Foods (or probably any health food store) by the peanut butter. You might even find it in some of the larger grocery stores in the ethnic food section.
M.H. answers from Dallas on March 01, 2007
Hi! I started to give my child peanut butter early on and I do believe that she was eating it as early as 14 months. The only advice that I can give you is not only to watch for the allergies but also only give it to her sparingly. My pediatrician back home had advised me that their systems at that young can't digest and process the food just the same as ours and the combination of peanut butter and bread starts to form a clog in their little bellies and intestines and can become life threatening. The scary part of it all was shortly after hearing this a lady that worked closely with my sister had a two year old at the time that was being fed peanut butter sandwiches on a regular basis at daycare and ended up passing away because it had formed a large clog in her intestines that no one knew about. So for me the answer is yes give her some peanut butter but regulate how often she's getting it.
A. answers from Dallas on February 27, 2007
Actually, it's only necessary to refrain from giving honey until 12 months. And honey isn't an issue of allergens - it's an issue of botulism. Honey can contain botulism spores, and the immature digestive system of an infant under 12 months can't handle these spores, but more mature digestive systems can. Honey is actually good for allergies, particularly local honey, because it contains local pollens. It's often recommended that people with seasonal allergies eat honey manufactured by local bees.
As for peanut butter, the recommendation is age 2. However, if there is a known history of allergies in a family - either food OR environmental (such as hay fever) - it's really best to wait until 3. We've got both types of allergies in my family, so we don't give my daughter tree nuts or peanuts until she is 3.
Peanuts in particular, if given too soon, can actually trigger allergies - both food and environmental. I've known several people who ate a lot of peanuts during pregnancy and/or while nursing, and whose children developed food allergies even when there was no family history of any sort of allergy.
Peanuts are a good source of protein, but so is cheese, yogurt and beans. Have you tried giving your daughter kidney beans? Mine used to love them straight out of the can (well, with a good rinsing first, of course!), and it was a very simple and inexpensive protein. And, if your child still drinks milk, she's still getting all the protein she needs from her 2 cups of milk a day.
I'd advise you not to rush into peanuts. You're bound to hear stories of people who gave it to their 1 year-old without issue, but there are also stories of people who smoked and drank during their pregnancy and their babies turned out fine. Just because something doesn't harm one infant, doesn't mean it won't harm another. (And of course, smoking and drinking aren't similar to giving peanuts, but the point is, you can't assume that something that has no affect on one baby will have no affect on EVERY baby.)
A.J. answers from Dallas on February 28, 2007
one of my boys wouldn't eat meat as a toddler and we gave him bean burritos. he still loves em.
my daughter eats pb, she accidently got it enough times that we knew there was no allergy. she loves it.
K.J. answers from Dallas on February 27, 2007
My doctor told me 1 yr old. Have you tried rice? My son loves rice and butter with a dot of sugar. Have you tried just vegetable soup? My son would NOT eat a vegetable at all, but I was eating vegetable soup one day for lunch and he ate 1/2 of it with me. Also, try feeding her when you eat. He will eat anything off of my plate. He also loves the steamed green beans that are long that he can eat like a carrot!
R.W. answers from Denver on February 28, 2007
Hi there! The American Academy of Pediatrics actually now recommends 3 years old for peanut/nut introduction. I have two children with food allergies...both require Epi Pens. If you can...I would hold off on the PB as long as you can. There are other great foods....try apple butter!! Sold at whole foods....no added sugar...tastes very, very yummy with jelly on a sandwich!