New Guidelines on Preventing Food Allergies in Babies – Here's What Parents Need to Know

Doctors have new advice for preventing peanut and other food allergies.

By: Amanda Mushro
Photo Taken In Kempen, Germany

Photo Taken In Kempen, Germany

Photo by: Ulrike Hammerich / EyeEm

Ulrike Hammerich / EyeEm

Introducing solid food to your baby is the perfect time to snap some adorable pictures of your little one with food covering their face and just about every other inch of their body. However, it can also be a time when parents have a lot of questions about what they should or should not be feeding their baby. This week The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines that can help parents navigate their baby’s first foods — especially foods that were once believed to cause food allergies.

According to the new report, the AAP says there is no convincing evidence that suggests delaying the introduction of allergenic foods — like peanuts and eggs – beyond 4 to 6 months of age works in preventing food allergies. In fact, they say there is strong evidence suggesting that early introduction of peanuts, even as early as 4 months, may prevent the development of a peanut allergy.

"There is no reason to delay giving your baby foods that are thought of as allergens like peanut products, eggs or fish," Dr. Scott Sicherer, a co-author of the report, said in a statement. "These foods can be added to the diet early, just like foods that are not common allergens, like rice, fruits or vegetables."

While there has been some confusion among parents based on the 2008 guidelines, which stated delaying these types of food will not prevent allergies, these guidelines are clear — doctors want babies to try foods like peanuts and eggs.

The report from the AAP references another food allergy study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which recommends that children who are at high risk for peanut allergies be introduced peanuts-based foods when they are 4 to 6 months. What they found was 1.9 percent of the participants introduced to peanuts early developed an allergy, compared to 13.7 percent of kids who waited until they were 5 years-old to be consume peanuts.

Before you break out the jar of peanut butter, be careful. The AAP warns parents that peanuts and peanut butter are choking hazards for young children. They advise parents to offer up peanut butter that has been smoothed into pureed fruits or vegetables.

Then when your baby is old enough, you can happily pack lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in their lunches.

Next Up

New Safety Rules for Baby Rockers — What Parents Need to Know

The new rules aim to reduce the risk of suffocation and accidents related to these popular items.

Study Finds That Nearly 30% Of Teens Have "Prediabetes"

The numbers have made a drastic jump in recent years.

Study Finds Eating Disorder Symptoms Reduced in Those with Strong Family Bond

Researchers are hopeful this study will shine a light on the importance of family support during treatment of eating disorders.

Study Reveals How the Pandemic Affected Babies' Social Development And Behavior

Researchers say babies born during the pandemic are lagging behind in some areas.

Why Learning the Sex of Your Baby Sooner Could Lead to a Healthier Pregnancy

We love gender reveal parties, but this study claims knowing your baby’s gender could result in a healthier little one and a healthier you.

These are the Updated Guidelines on Babies’ Developmental Milestones That Parents Need to Know

These milestones haven’t been updated in decades, and some are catching parents' attention.

Gut Health Linked to the Development of Eczema in Babies, Study Finds

Could gut health be the clue to healing your baby’s skin?