Peanut butter is a delicious and protein filled snack yet many experts suggest that parents refrain from giving it to their baby until after the age of 12 months. Other experts on the other hand disagree entirely, stating that it is important to offer this food to children from as early an age as possible. With experts disagreeing so vehemently on the subject it is no wonder that parents are unsure what to do. This article looks at the issue of when can a baby eat peanut butter and tries to help parents make sense of the subject.
Peanuts are known to contain allergens which may cause allergic reactions in children. By giving peanut butter to an infant, parents may inadvertently cause their baby to suffer from a potential fatal reaction which would be best avoided, especially in someone so young. Peanut butter is also very sticky and can stick to the roof of the mouth presenting a choking hazard which is another reason why experts suggest avoiding it until the child has developed sufficiently to be able to deal with this occurrence.
One of the most important considerations to take into account when deciding whether to give your weaning baby peanut butter is whether or not there is a family history of a peanut allergy. For those that do, peanut butter is definitely best avoided for safety reasons, preferably until an allergy test has been carried out to check whether or not your baby has an problem with peanuts. If there is no family history of allergies, it is usually safe to give your little one peanut butter once they are old enough to handle the potential choking consequences. This is usually after the age of 12 to 18 months, however when you first give your little one peanut butter, make sure that you only spread a very thin layer onto bread or crackers so that they can chew it more easily.
Only give a very small amount at first until you can be certain that there will be no allergic reaction. A tiny dab on the tip of your finger is probably enough to assess if there is going to be an adverse reaction so watch closely and then if nothing untoward occurs you can introduce more next time. If you baby does have a bad reaction, do not hesitate to call for medical help.
If you decide to try offering your little one peanut butter, it is best to do so for the first time in your own home and on a day when you are free to monitor your baby for any adverse reactions. You may want to try keeping a food diary that you can refer back to if your child suffers any ill consequences and always wait at least three days before introducing another new food so that you can see quickly and easily which one caused the problem.