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Introducing peanut butter during infancy can help protect against a peanut allergy later on, new study finds

·1 min

Reassuring evidence suggests that feeding children smooth peanut butter during infancy and early childhood can reduce the risk of developing a peanut allergy. Starting peanut consumption as early as 4 months of age and continuing regularly until around 5 years old was associated with a significant reduction in peanut allergy among adolescents in the UK. This finding supports the idea that early exposure to peanuts can provide long-term protection against allergies. The American Academy of Pediatrics has also updated its guidelines to recommend early introduction of peanuts to prevent peanut allergy. Food allergies, including peanut allergy, are a growing concern in the US, affecting approximately 2% of children. The new study, called the LEAP-Trio trial, found that early introduction of peanuts in infancy provided lasting tolerance to peanuts into adolescence. It is recommended for parents to introduce peanuts to infants at low risk for allergies starting at around 4 to 6 months old, under the guidance of a pediatrician. The consistency of peanut introduction should be a thin puree mixed with other foods to avoid choking hazards.