Important changes with the introduction of peanuts to babies

Updated as of March 14, 2017:

Webinar on the new guidelines for the introduction of peanut to babies


We recently hosted a webinar with the Canadian Society of Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (CSACI) on the new guidelines for the introduction of peanut to babies (see below for the original post on the new guidelines).

Here’s what the webinar was about:

  • What is the webinar about: The focus was on the new guidelines and what they mean, followed by a Q&A where attendees asked questions.
  • Who is presenting: Canadian allergist Dr. Julia Upton who is on staff at Toronto’s SickKids Hospital in the Immunology and Allergy Department. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Toronto and is the Section Chair of Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis with the CSACI.
  • Who would be interested in this webinar: Anyone interested in this topic, or if you have young babies, are expecting a baby, or thinking of having children soon, this webinar is a must for you.

FAQs featuring the most common questions, answered by Canadian allergists, will be posted soon!  Please check back again soon.


Original post:

The food allergy community received some excellent news with the release of guidelines for the introduction of peanut to babies. The Addendum Guidelines for the Prevention of Peanut Allergy in the U.S. (a report from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)) is a very positive step forward in preventing the development of peanut allergy.

The guidelines represent a dramatic shift from previous advice to parents and caregivers regarding the introduction of peanut in a child’s diet. It is critical that health providers including allergists, pediatricians, and general practitioners share consistent information, based on the recommendations, so that parents can make an informed decision.

Here are some highlights:

  • The recommendations are based on the groundbreaking LEAP study which found that early introduction of peanuts to babies (4-11 months) identified as high risk for peanut allergy (based on an existing egg allergy and/or severe eczema), helped to prevent the development of peanut allergy.
  • The guidelines provide specific advice for when to introduce peanut-containing foods to babies and how. They also include advice about introducing solids first, avoiding foods that can be choking hazards (e.g. whole peanuts), and specific instructions for babies considered to be “high risk”. There are three guidelines for when to introduce peanut-containing food –
    • Guideline 1: As early as 4-6 months for those at high risk (severe eczema and/or egg allergy). Evaluation with testing is strongly recommended to determine if peanut should be introduced and the preferred method. Parents are advised to consult with their physician.
    • Guideline 2: Around 6 months for those with mild to moderate eczema.
    • Guideline 3: When age-appropriate, introduce freely in diet with other solid foods in accordance with family preferences and cultural practices.
  • You can download the guidelines and summaries for parents/caregivers and clinicians on the NIAID website.

We discussed these points in media interviews on January 5th/6th, as did Canadian allergist Dr. Edmond Chan, a member of the NIAID expert panel. Click here for more on the Global TV national news story. You can also read the Allergic Living article which provides a great overview of the guidelines.

As always, we advise parents to speak with their physician if they have any concerns.