Even though we called our baby Peanut before we knew he was a real boy, we were terrified of giving him peanut-butter.
“What if he has a reaction?”
“Do we need to get an EpiPen?”
“Let’s do it in the morning in case we need to go to emergency.”
Most of these fears were put in place by Devon’s health team. Each time we take him for a checkup in they re-emphasize several times that we should not give him any allergens until he’s one or two years old. They’re doctors, so we felt they knew what they were talking about.
Both the Canadian and American paediatric societies have recommended for a long time introducing food allergens when the child starts eating. All medical research indicates there’s no benefit (and indeed quite a bit of risk) in waiting to introduce allergens.
As long as the child does not have some clear indication of allergic reaction, the Canadian recommendation is as follows:
Do not delay the introduction of any specific solid food beyond six months of age. Later introduction of peanut, fish or egg does not prevent, and may even increase, the risk of developing food allergy.
We wish we got a clear, science-based recommendation from our doctors. Instead, we got panic. And for a couple of weeks it scared us into inaction.
Good news: we gave Devon peanut-butter with almost every meal this week. He loves it.