The global pandemic has created serious issues when it comes to seeking health care guidance and advice. Among the concerned are Canadian parents, who are skeptical about introducing peanut protein to their babies, especially if they’re high-risk or fearful of the possibility of allergic reaction. With some COVID-19 restrictions easing in many areas, parents may be asking more questions about the safest and most effective way to introduce peanut protein to their babies. Not only that, but many parents may not even be aware that the Canadian Paediatric Society updated its guidance on introducing allergenic foods to infants in 2019. If your patients or clients have added to their families during the pandemic, consider sharing and reinforcing the early introduction guidance with them. Here’s what they need to know:
- Today, parents are encouraged to introduce allergenic foods, like peanut protein, to high-risk infants before six months of age, but not before four months of age.
- Parents of infants who are not considered high-risk should begin to introduce complementary foods around six months of age and when baby shows signs of developmental readiness.
- Parents should avoid giving baby whole peanuts or a whole spoonful of sticky peanut butter until the age of five. Whole peanuts and large servings of peanut butter can be choking hazards to infants.
- Parents should introduce allergenic solids one at a time, without unnecessary delay. If foods are well tolerated by baby, they should continue offering these foods a couple times a week.
If you’re looking for an in-depth overview of early introduction for infants, we highly recommend Registered Dietitian, Sarah Remmer’s recent blog post, “How and when to introduce peanuts to your baby.” In this post, Sarah shares information on methods for introducing peanut protein to baby, the signs and symptoms parents should watch out for, and so much more helpful early intro information to help ease your patients and clients, as they begin to introduce peanut protein to their young ones.