Feeding Babies Peanut Butter May Prevent Allergies


“Babies at high risk for becoming allergic to peanuts are much less likely to develop the allergy if they are regularly fed foods containing the legumes starting in their first year of life,” according to Rob Stein, reporter for npr.org.

Researchers found out that babies who consumed of about four teaspoons of peanut butter each week, starting when they were between four and 11 months old, were about 80 percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy by their fifth birthday, according to npr.org.

As many as two million U.S. children are estimated to be allergic to peanuts. Peanut allergies have been increasing rapidly in the United State, according to foodallergy.org.

While most children who are allergic to peanuts only experience relatively mild symptoms, such as hives, some have life-threatening reactions that can include trouble breathing and heart problems, according to foodallergy.org.

“This is a question we get asked constantly in our clinic. When parents come in, they often have young children. They want to know what they should do. This really provides us with the answer,” stated Hugh Sampson, who heads the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai in New York.

A key question is whether children will have to keep eating peanuts to keep any allergy at bay. Researchers are following the kids in their study to find out what happened to them after they stopped eating peanuts regularly.