Eat Up!: Prevent peanut allergies from a young age – Alabama Peanut Producers Association

Peanut butter pie, peanut cups, boiled peanuts, things deep fried in peanut oil,… we know, we know, peanuts are an incredibly versatile food packed with protein, healthy fats, fiber, iron, and more. They are found in a variety of dishes and in some of the most delicious foods. Yet, for many people, these delicious offerings are deadly.


For people with peanut allergies, eating outside of their own kitchens can be a stressful experience. They have to rely on servers to know the menu, cooks to not cross contaminate food, and trust that everyone is telling the truth. What if we told you that those people at risk for peanut allergies may have been able to deter developing allergies by being exposed to peanuts at an early age?


As a parent whose child might be at risk for a peanut allergy, it can be scary knowing your child could develop a life-threatening allergy. Studies have shown us early exposure to peanuts could significantly reduce the chances of children at risk for an allergy from developing that allergy.


We’re talking an 86% decrease. That’s life-changing.


Peanut allergies are no joke, so why risk it? Working closely with a doctor and allergy experts to help prevent allergy formation in childhood goes a long way to keeping people safe and healthy as adults. It is better to expose a child early on and let them build up a tolerance to peanuts than to avoid the potential allergen and risk sending their body into shock later in life.


Early exposure includes introducing peanut protein to children around the ages of 4-6 months. This looks like offering thinned peanut butter, powdered peanut butter, peanut puffs, and other easy to consume peanut products.


Pediatricians and allergy experts recommend early exposure as a way to deter future peanut allergies. As with all medical decisions, be sure to consult your child’s medical doctor to help determine the best course of action. Early exposure invests in the health and safety of your child’s future. Through intentional effort early on you can avoid an entire lifetime of trusting other people with your loved one’s life.


Written by: Halley Cotton, Alabama Media Group