Want to prevent food allergies? Introduce those foods early

Introduce peanuts early to prevent peanut allergy

By: Marina Rockinger

It's one of the most common food allergies.

And one of the most dangerous: Peanuts.

Registered dietitian Kim Larson tells me that about 2 percent of children have a peanut allergy.

"And it's the leading cause of death from food induced anaphylaxis in our country," says Larson.

Larson explains that researchers back in 2008 found introducing peanut containing foods early on in a child's life, even in infancy, can help prevent peanut allergy. Larson refers to new guidelines from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

"These are guidelines that parents and schools, other healthcare providers can use that talk about, 'how do we really approach kids who might have a peanut allergy' ", says Larson. "How do we define their risk. What is the timing we can use to introduce peanut containing foods. And how should we go about doing that?"

The National Institutes of Health says things like peanut butter can be introduced to a child as young as 4 months old, with the guidance of a pediatrician.

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