18 answers

When Can Toddlers Start Eating Peanut Butter?

I keep hearing mixed feedback on when toddlers can start eating peanut butter. Haven't phoned my pediatrician yet, but I recall during the last appointment the nurse mentioned they upped the age to 6 yrs old (which sounds ridiculous?). But then I have friends who feed their 20 month old peanut/jelly sandwhiches, others who say it's ok by 2years old, and so I'm confused with all this conflicting information. Ironically, my 21 month old was given peanuts one day by accident and she was fine. Also I give her other nuts all the time (walnuts, almonds, etc.) Thanks!

2 moms found this helpful

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I hear the same thing. My ped told me to wait until he was 3. I did not. He got into the peanut butter after my daughter left it out. He was fine. At his next appt. I told her and she said since he did not have an adverse reaction it was fine. I think it's something that is really hard to judge. I've read "wait until they're older". Then I've read "Studies show delaying the addition of peanut increases the chances of an allergy". You are definetly correct in saying there is a lot of conflicting info. I would say if she's had some before w/out a problem she should be fine. Good luck!

My understanding is that tree nuts and peanuts should not be introduced until age 2. For children with other I know moms who have fed their kids nuts earlier and they were fine.

More Answers

When our son was at his 12 month appointment, I mentioned that I'd given him some peanut butter, and the pediatrician asked me to hold off 3 more months.

2 years later, at our daughter's 12 month appointment, I mentioned that I'd been holding off on peanut butter, and the same pediatrician said he'd changed his mind based upon the updated policy from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP.org).

He said they don't associate allergies with an age now, and that feeding should be done based upon choking hazards more than risk of allergy. That being said, he said to do it in small quantities to make sure there was not a reaction.

Our pediatrician has 3 young boys (all 4 and under), and we regard his advice highly as he's going through the same things we are and really keeps up on professional recommendations.

We've given both of our kids peanut butter regularly since they were 12 months.

I'd check with your pediatrician to verify their feelings. But, I'd also check AAP's website (you can also google "American Academy of Pediatrics" and infant feeding to see if you can find any advice one way or another).

Good luck.

Hi there. ;-) I have four children ranging in ages from 2-16 yrs. I have seen the many "food fads" and such come and go with feeding babies and I stuck with the traditional rule of one year. At the age of one their digestive tracts are developed enough to introduce these new foods. The fear of allergies is when it is less developed in younger ages and why many pediatricians don't recommend starign your baby on solids too early. Peanuts, egg whites, honey and pretty much anything else is fine after one year of age. None of my kids had any problem with any of these foods and it sounds like you little one handled it fine. I hope that helps you! ;-)

I think I can answer this for you. When my 8 yr old was little they swore not until they are two. I now have a 2 yr old and a 16mo. old. I started the 2 yr old at 18 mo and the baby at 14 mo. Both of them were at my pediatricians approval. The only comment the Ped had was feed it to them all by its self to make absolutely sure they are not allergic and if they are not feed it to them how ever you want. If it makes you feel better ask your ped. but I fxeel when they canmaster table food they can handle it. hope this helps.

I gave my daughter peanut butter at 12 months , her ped said that if they have an allergy then they have an allergy , waiting until they are older won't stop that.

i waited until mine was 2 but i have no family history of food allergy. what scientists don't know about allergy/immunology is astounding.

My pediatrician is pretty old school, and he said anytime after 1 year of age is fine. He suggested the only time to really be concerned about it is if there is anyone in your family who does have an allergy to peanuts, than you may want to wait until the child is older and communicate more. Waiting isn't going to to stop the allergic reaction. Typically your peanut and shellfish allergies manifest through a respiratory reaction not the typical rash you see with other foods. You would want your child to be able to communicate with you that their throat is starting to feel funny, otherwise your only indication that your child is having a reaction would be when they begin having trouble with breathing. That explanation made complete sense to me. I started giving my daughter peanut butter right around age 1 and she was fine.

My son started eating peanut butter before he was a year old. But its something thats always happened with my family. My mom's a nurse so she did what she did.

Most people recommend you wait until they are atleast over a year, some say 2 years. I wouldn't/couldn't hold off on giving my kiddo peanut butter until he was 6 because I'm addicted to peanut butter.

I know the only thing that has had guidelines changed from 2 to 6 years old is cough and cold medicine. But if you give your toddler other nuts I don't see what the problem with giving them peanut butter is.

My understanding is that tree nuts and peanuts should not be introduced until age 2. For children with other I know moms who have fed their kids nuts earlier and they were fine.

I thought it was age 1 but my son is 8 now so i don't know what the recommendations are. I would think that if they can eat solid foods fine by age 1 then peanut butter would be fine. However, if there is any history of allergies in your family at all I would probably put it off. There aren't any allergies in our family so my son got everything pretty early.

When I had my older daughter (almost 6), the recommendation was 3. I have a 23 month old and was following that plan again. I know there is much greater concern if there is a family history of allergies, which we don't have. But I also know that peanuts are onw of those things where it might take multiple exposures to induce a reaction - do I wouldn't necessarily assume one dose of peanuts means she is okay either. I have also avoided all nuts to this point, but I know tha ttree nuts are different than peanuts.

If you continue to wait, you might want to try Sunbutter, It's made from sunflower seeds and is liek peanut butter. It has helped expand our menu a bit :)

I'll be interested in the other responses on current guidance.

It is my understanding that the threshold for nuts is 2 years, as with shellfish. It may be older if the child is at particular risk for an adverse reaction. It isn't that delaying introduction reduces the risk of reaction (actually, the opposite is true), but since the reactions can be severe, it increases the survivability of an adverse reaction.

Both of my kids had exposure to nuts prior to 1 year. I don't feed either one peanut butter, but I wouldn't avoid it for allergy concerns either.

I hear the same thing. My ped told me to wait until he was 3. I did not. He got into the peanut butter after my daughter left it out. He was fine. At his next appt. I told her and she said since he did not have an adverse reaction it was fine. I think it's something that is really hard to judge. I've read "wait until they're older". Then I've read "Studies show delaying the addition of peanut increases the chances of an allergy". You are definetly correct in saying there is a lot of conflicting info. I would say if she's had some before w/out a problem she should be fine. Good luck!

Our pediatrician said to wait until age 3. But, she had almonds and cashews at 2.5 and didn't have any problems so I gave her peanut butter without a problem. However, it seems there are many differing opinions out there. I'd ask your ped just to make sure. Age six seems ridiculous -- I agree.

I read all the advice and then gave my son his first taste of peanut butter at 18 mos. His favorite food now is a "penbudder sanwich" at 27 mos. Neither my husband nor I have any history of any kind of nut allergy, so that was one reason we didn't wait longer. also, i gave him the first taste, just a finger tip, on a saturday morning, so if anything did happen, we could take him to the hospital right away (that way if there was any sort of delayed reaction, or hives, or anything, he wouldn't be at daycare when it happened). I would think about your family history, talk to your ped, and then just give it a go!

My daughter is 2 now, when I was looking into it, I was told 1 year old. So at 12 months, she had peanut butter and she did great. She loves a PB&J sandwich! She also like nuts too. I don't know what they changed the age to, but to be honest with you, some allergies are formed even after years of having it. For example, I could have eaten peanuts my whole life and then 1 year ago I develop an allergy. Really quite weird how that works. My mom used to eat mushrooms and now as of a few years ago, she is allergic.
But to get back to your question, I would think that now is fine to eat peabut butter...she has already had peanuts and is fine. Just watch her reaction for at least 15 mins to any new food to be sure she is fine with it!

Good luck and God Bless!

The bottom line is, we just don't know enough about the human immune system and all the interconnected issues that lead to allergies, and so pediatricians, who have to treat thousands of children, and the AAP, which has to look at recommendations for an entire country of children, none of whom they know personally, have to take very cautious steps that have broad policy repercussions. You, however, are one mom, with one - or a few - kid(s) whom you know very well. That's why there's so much conflicting info out there. Because we just don't know, but someone has to sound definitive.

That said, for my kids I took the position that waiting until after a year sounded wise b/c there are certainly digestive developmental issues that are resolving/resolved for most kids between 1 and 2 years, and since my kids have had no allergy issues and no digestive issues, I felt comfortable moving forward with nuts at a year. That said, I'm still waiting on shellfish for the twins (my little guys are a year and a half, my oldest is 3) b/c there are shellfish allergies in my family; my oldest had shrimp for the first time around 2. So, you just kind of have to feel things out based on what you know about the policies and what you know about your kids and family history.

The only other thing to consider is something that another mom hit on, which is the allergic reaction itself. Basically, from a policy position, it's better to encourage people to wait on hitting their kids with possible allergens b/c anaphylaxis (the reaction itself, and w/ peanuts and shellfish it's usually respiratory) is easier to handle, medically, in older children. when an infant crashes, you catch it later, it's harder to handle, and much more lethal than if, say, a 6-year-old crashes. So, from a public policy (and litigation-defense) position, you want people waiting as long as possible. But again, these are your kids, not public policy. So, if you feel comfortable that it's unlikely there will be a reaction, and if you make sure that you keep a close eye on your kid for an hour or so after introducing the food the first few times, and you've waited past a year, and there are no other issues... then you're a mom and you're making an educated choice for your kid. and that's what we do. :)

I have never heard of kids haveing to wait until they are 6 years old. I started my son on peanut butter and peanuts at 3 years old.All has been fine.

We started giving it to my son when he turned 1. The pediatrician said we could give him anything and everything at that point...and so we have!

Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.