Resources for New Moms
Adding Peanut Foods to Baby’s Diet
How to safely add peanut foods to baby’s diet
Age-appropriate peanut foods should be introduced only at home or in a doctor’s office, not at locations outside the home. When introducing peanut foods at home, pick a time when your infant is healthy and you are able to devote your full attention for at least two hours so that you can watch for an allergic reaction. To begin:
- Offer a small sample of thinned peanut butter or peanut flour/powder on the tip of a baby spoon.
- Wait a few minutes to see how your baby responds.
- If there is no allergic reaction after this small taste, offer more peanut-containing food. Slowly give the rest of the peanut food as your baby will accept.
Note: whole peanuts, peanut chunks and chunky or crunchy peanut butter are choking hazards for babies. Make sure the peanut foods you provide are age-appropriate.
Symptoms of an allergic reaction
The first symptoms of the allergic reaction usually appear between a few minutes and two hours after exposure to a food. Symptoms can range from mild to severe or even life-threatening and can occur alone or in combination. If you have any concerns about your baby’s response to a new food, seek medical attention or call 911 right away. The most common reactions in infants include vomiting and hives.
- Mild symptoms can include a new rash or a few hives on the face and body. Hives are red, itchy welts on the skin.
- More severe symptoms can include swelling of the lips, face, or tongue; vomiting; diarrhea; widespread hives over the body; wheezing; repetitive coughing; difficulty breathing; skin color changing to pale or blue; sudden tiredness or lethargy; seeming limp.
Start with one serving containing 2 grams of peanut protein shown in the recipes below. Gradually increase to three servings weekly, adapting to your baby’s appetite and taste preferences.
Smooth Peanut Butter (contains 2 grams of peanut protein)
You will need either hot water or pureed (smooth) fruit or vegetable.
- Measure two teaspoons of peanut butter.
- To thin with hot water, add two to three teaspoons of water and stir to blend well. Let cool. You can add more water or a previously-tolerated infant cereal to make baby’s preferred texture.
- To thin with puree, add two to three tablespoons of pureed fruit or vegetable that baby has tolerated in the past. You can add more or less puree to make baby’s preferred texture.
Peanut Puffs (contains 2 grams of peanut protein)
You can use any brand of peanut puffs, but the serving should contain two grams of peanut protein.
- If your baby is younger than seven months old, soften the puffs with four to six teaspoons of water. Feed your baby one puff at a time.
- Older babies who can manage dissolvable textures can eat puffs that haven’t been softened with water.
Peanut Flour or Peanut Butter Powder (contains 2 grams of peanut protein)
You will need powdered peanut flour or peanut butter powder and fruit or vegetable puree.
- Measure two teaspoons of peanut flour or peanut butter powder.
- To thin the flour or powder, add approximately two tablespoons of pureed fruit or vegetable that the baby has previously tolerated. You can add more or less puree to achieve a consistency that your baby likes.
For more information on how to safely introduce a variety of foods into a baby’s diet, visit babysfirst.org.