Four years after the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) released guidelines to help parents introduce peanut to their infants to prevent peanut allergy, a recent survey done by the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) revealed that only 40% of parents were advised to introduce peanut to their infant during first year of life. Moreover, only 13% of all those who responded in the survey were aware of the NIAID guidelines.
The NIAID guidelines stemmed from the groundbreaking findings of the Learning Early About Peanut Study (LEAP), which showed that eating peanut [in a safe form] as early as 4-6+ months of age can reduce an infant's risk of developing peanut allergies by over 80%.
"The advice given to parents for so many years was to avoid allergenic foods - and we now know that only added to the food allergy epidemic we are now experiencing," said Dr. Ron Sunog, Pediatrician and Medical Advisor to Puffworks and Author of Eat the Eight. "Science is imperfect, we get things wrong. But as we learn and test, we are able to close the gap and that's exactly what the LEAP study did. Now we just need to work together to ensure more parents understand the benefits of early peanut introduction - and that it's as simple as incorporating peanut into their infant's diets early and often - especially if their baby is high-risk."
Since feeding globs of peanut butter or whole peanuts is a choking risk, our Puffworks baby Organic Peanut Butter Puffs provide a simple, easy-to-eat way to feed babies peanut protein through an easily dissolvable puff that contains no added sugar and is low in sodium. Plus, our crunchier Puffs for older kids (and adults, too!) are a great way to keep peanut in their diet as they grow - also key!
Did your pediatrician recommend early peanut introduction? We'd love to know! Follow us on Instagram @Puffworks to join in the conversation.
Notes about the ACAAI survey:
The survey gathered responses from 3062 households in an approximately 3-week period in 2021. The parents/caregivers who responded had children between the ages of 7 months and 3.5 years. Among the infants, 11% had eczema – significant because eczema is one of the indicators parents and caregivers need to be mindful of as a risk factor for food allergies.
Sources:Four years after release of guidelines, parents still not informed about early peanut introduction