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Dietitian offers tips on introducing peanut-based foods to your baby

The guidelines are based on research that shows early exposure can lower a baby’s chance of developing peanut allergies.
The guidelines are based on research that shows early exposure can lower a baby’s chance of developing peanut allergies.

Dietitian Laura Yudys gets a lot of questions about peanuts.

And those questions have only increased with recommendations from the National Institutes of Health in January on how to introduce babies to peanut-based foods.

The guidelines are based on research that shows early exposure can lower a baby’s chance of developing peanut allergies.

“People are really paying attention to it,” Yudys said, adding that parents should first consult with a pediatrician.

“Before trying anything that’s different or you’ve read online, it’s always best to check with your pediatrician,” she said.

The NIH recommendations are not the same for all babies, even though most are low-risk.

For babies with a high risk of peanut allergy, the NIH recommendation is to introduce peanut-based products in the doctor’s office.

For children with a moderate risk of peanut allergy, the NIH recommends initiating peanut products by 6 months if they have already tried other solid foods. Again, ask your pediatrician about your child’s peanut allergy risk and the recommendation.

Around 6 months, parents with low-risk children should consider introducing peanut-containing foods over a 3-day period at home, says Yudys.

Yudys recommends mixing in peanut butter powder, watering it down or adding it to breast milk and feeding it by spoon.

And, if a pediatrician OKs it, you could also add a small amount to rice cereal or baby oatmeal.

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©2017 Chicago Tribune

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