GOOD NEWS PEANUT BUTTER LOVERS! A bunch of important organizations (The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the American Academy of Pediatrics) now recommend introducing peanuts around 6 months.
Early introduction might be even more important for babies at high risk for developing an allergy to peanuts (high risk = a confirmed egg allergy, severe eczema, or a sibling with a peanut allergy). It is worth talking with doc about introducing peanuts to your high risk baby. This new research has determined it may prevent a peanut allergy from developing.
You might remember that I like to watch yesterday's news (one of the downsides of having only Hulu/Netflix). I recently heard a story about parents introducing peanuts by offering babes the entire peanut. High five for offering peanuts early but WAIT I take my high five back because whole peanuts could be a choking hazard for a grown man and most definitely are a choking hazard for a 6 month old.
I'm pretty sure its just a fact that parents do strange things sometimes. I remember eating peanut butter and breathing in Ruthie's face to "expose" her when she was a baby. Anyone else do that? No? OK, moving on.
Possibly a little less obvious than entire peanuts but still a potential choking hazard is peanut butter. A big 'ole glob on its own can be a little too sticky for infants to handle, so how exactly do we do safely introduce peanuts? Don't worry friends, I've got you.
A little peanut butter stirred into purees or a teeny bit offered on a finger are totally fine introduction methods. But I've recently developed a thing for lists so read on for some tried 'n true ideas for baby led weaners and pureed lovers alike:
10 Ways to Introduce Peanuts
1. Peanut butter spread thinly on banana strips
2. Melted & cooled peanut butter mixed into plain, whole milk yogurt
3. A thin layer of peanut butter spread on soft steamed carrots
4. Peanut powder sprinkled on avocado slices (pulverize whole, unsalted peanuts in a food processor until powdery and very fine or purchase a powder such as PB2)
5. Chicken legs marinated in equal parts peanut butter + water with some minced garlic and ginger
6. Peanut butter stirred into oatmeal or rice cereal
7. A dash of PB2 peanut powder mixed into a fruit/veg + yogurt smoothie
8. Mash roasted sweet potatoes with peanut butter and cinnamon
9. Add peanut butter or peanut powder to a smoothie (frozen banana + kefir + peanut butter is a fave around here!)
10. A dollop of peanut butter stirred into pancake batter before cooking
Peanuts don't have to be included every single day to get these potentially allergy protecting results. I aim for a few times a week, which isn't hard for us because it's such a staple food in our house.
Now the most important part, I know you're all dying to know my favorite brand of PB. I actually skip Aldi in this case because I've become such a fan of the freshly ground option at Fresh Thyme. It's so inexpensive and SO FRESH. It's also super easy to make at home by pulsing unsalted peanuts in the food processor until a smooth ball forms. No other ingredients needed, JUST peanuts. Gah, I love food.
Although I am a registered dietitian, this information is general in nature and intended to share my experiences. For concerns about introducing peanuts, especially if there is a risk of peanut allergy, please talk to your child's pediatrician.