Did you know that peanuts are one of the nine major food allergens listed by the US Food and Drug
Administration? The good news is most babies are not at risk of developing a peanut allergy. Those that are at high risk of developing an allergy can reduce the risk by up to 86 percent by being introduced to peanut containing foods early.
All babies can benefit from eating peanut foods during their first year, however the prevention window for
introduction is small. That’s why it’s important to know which path is right for your child or those in your care.
If you’re a CACFP provider serving infants, it's important that you know when and how to introduce this major food allergen to those in your care. The National Peanut Board has a great nutrition education resource on preventing peanut allergies that
· The recommended timeline for peanut introduction: High risk Infants - Introduce peanut containing
foods at age 4 to 6 months. Babies with severe eczema, egg allergy or both are at highest risk for
developing peanut allergy. Discuss with your infant's healthcare provider before starting peanut foods
(ideally before baby is 4 months old). Begin peanut foods as directed by baby's healthcare provider
starting around 4-6 months of age and feed 2 teaspoons, 3 times per week.
· Two ways to introduce peanut foods: Most Babies - Introduce peanut containing foods within the first
year. Start feeding the baby peanut-containing foods in the first year and feed often as part of the usual
diet. It is not necessary to discuss introducing peanut foods with a healthcare provider first for babies not
at high risk. Most children fall into this category.
· Two recipes for introducing peanut butter: Introducing peanut foods to babies is as easy as thinning 2
teaspoons of creamy peanut butter with 2 tablespoons of breastmilk, formula or water, or stirring 2
teaspoons of creamy peanut butter into 2 tablespoons of infant cereal or pureed baby food. Peanut
containing infant snack puffs are another easy option for feeding baby peanut foods easily and often.
Whole nuts or undiluted nut butters are choking hazards and should not be fed to infants.