Tips for Introducing Nuts to a Baby

Food allergies, especially nut allergies, are common in this country. That's why it's understandable that most parents are apprehensive when introducing nuts to their infants. At the same time, you shouldn't deny your baby the nutritional benefit of nuts without valid reasons. It's good to give your baby nuts; you just need to be careful on how you introduce them to the baby. The following precautions will help.

You Don't Have to Wait

For a long time, the conventional advice has been to wait until the baby is at least a year old before introducing them to nuts. However, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, you can introduce nuts to your baby's diet as soon as they can eat solid foods (after six months). There is no proof that delaying nuts prevents allergy later on; in fact, some research shows that early introduction may be beneficial.

Talk to the Pediatrician First

Talk to your pedestrian to analyze how likely the child is to be allergic to the nuts. The pediatrician will consider your family's history of allergies and whether you are allergic to any food. A baby born in a family with a history of peanut allergies has a high risk of developing the same allergy. Depending on the risk, the pediatrician may order allergy testing for a definite diagnosis.

Test One Nut at a Time

Nuts are different, and a person can be allergic to one type without being allergic to another. In fact, being allergic to one type of nut doesn't increase your chances of being allergic to other types of nuts. Therefore, introduce nuts to your baby's diet one type at a time.

Start Really Small

You shouldn't make a meal of it; just give the kid a tiny bit of the peanut butter (or any nut product) to gauge its effect on the baby. Also, remember that the allergic reaction doesn't have to be and may not be instantaneous. Therefore, just because you tried it at breakfast and the baby hasn't shown any reaction doesn't mean that they don't have a nut allergy. Give it a couple of days or so to be sure the baby isn't allergic to that nut.

Hopefully, the precautions above will help you to introduce nuts safely. Even if your baby turns out to be allergic to the nuts, the precautions above will help prevent severe allergic reactions. Take your baby to an allergist for allergy testing if they seem to develop an allergy to any nuts.