Peanut Consumption and Allergies

Many parents hesitate to introduce peanut butter to infants because of the high risk for fatal or near-fatal allergic reactions.  We used to think that avoiding peanut butter early on might reduce the risk to developing an allergy to peanut butter.  However, we have found that early peanut consumption can minimize an allergy development.

Recent research in the past few years has shown that it is safe for infants to get peanut butter in infancy.  A recent study looked at children who received peanut early on were still able to tolerate it in their adolescence.

As noted in the AAP News from June 3, 2024,  “In the original 2015 study, called Learning Early About Peanut allergy (LEAP), 640 infants between 4 and 11 months old with severe eczema, egg allergy or both were given skin-prick tests for peanut allergy. Children in each of the two resulting cohorts then were randomly assigned to consume or avoid peanuts until reaching age 60 months.

On the initial allergy test, 530 had negative results. At 60 months, 13.7% of those infants in the avoidance group developed a peanut allergy compared to 1.9% in the consumption group. Among the 98 infants with positive initial results, 35.3% of those who avoided peanuts developed allergy compared to 10.6% of those who consumed peanuts.”

A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, May 2024, called LEAP-Trio, “examined 508 of the initial 640 participants at age 12 years, and 497 of them had enough data to determine whether they had developed a peanut allergy. Of those, 15.4% in the avoidance group had peanut allergy compared to 4.4% in the consumption group.”

We have developed a comfort level with introducing peanut butter to infants.  With infants who have severe eczema and/or a strong family history of food allergies, we feel it’s a good idea to work with an allergist/immunologist.   To learn more about introducing allergenic type foods in infancy, You can read this  the AAP site HealthyChildren.Org article.


AAP News, June 3, 2024

Follow-up to Adolescence after Early Peanut Introduction for Allergy Prevention, New England Journal of Medicine May 2024

When Can I Start Feeding My Baby Peanut Butter in HealthyChildren.Org.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *