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Introducing peanuts to infant’s diet can reduce chances of future allergy, study finds

The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine Evidence was based on research on 600 babies at high risk of nut allergy due to eczema and/or other food sensitivities.

Gillian Neff and Lauren Pena

Jun 1, 2024, 1:56 PM

Updated 20 days ago

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A new study has found that feeding peanuts or nut proteins to infants between four and six months of age can reduce their chances of developing an allergy by 71%.
The study published in the New England Journal of Medicine Evidence was based on research on 600 babies at high risk of nut allergy due to eczema and/or other food sensitivities.
"That effect of giving that frequent exposure to peanut early in life was really persistent and effective and really saved many of these children who were at high risk of having peanut allergy from having that lifelong disease,” said Dr. Drew Bird, allergy chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Despite the findings, doctors still encourage caregivers to check with a pediatrician or allergist before introducing nuts into a child’s diet.
If approved, doctors say parents can start the child on solids like soft or pureed fruits and vegetables. Then they can move on to thinned-out peanut butter.
"Mix it with either breast milk or water or the child's formula or a vegetable or fruit puree. Get it really soft and soupy. Select those stage one consistencies that we feed our children,” he said.
Dr. Bird recommends starting small and gradually increasing the amount. Researchers recommend parents work up to six grams of peanut products every week until the age of five.


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