Baby looking at the camera in a high chair eating Puffworks baby peanut butter puffs


Peanut allergy is common, and it is becoming even more common over time. Part of the reason why peanut allergies are increasing may be due to incorrect guidance around how to introduce allergens into an infant’s diet.

In the past, pediatricians reccomended delaying the introduction of peanuts and other allergens until after a child’s first birthday. This advice was based on the belief that this might reduce the risk of developing food allergies.

But new research and a better understanding of how food allergies develop have led to a shift in guidelines. Multiple studies now support the idea that introducing infants to allergens early in life (around 4 – 6 months of age) can actually help reduce the risk of developing food allergies. As a result, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends introducing allergens such as peanut early to help prevent food allergies.

LEAP Study

Early introduction of peanut(between 4 to 11 months of age) resulted in an 81% reduction in the development of peanut allergy in high-risk infants.

Regular consumption of peanut-containing foods in the first 5 years of life was found to be effective in preventing the development of peanut allergy.

Early, sustained consumption of peanut products was safe and associated with a substantial decrease in the risk of peanut allergy in high-risk infants.

Even though we now know that the best way to prevent allergies is through exposure to allergens, only 40% of parents are advised to introduce peanut during their infants’ first year.

“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.”

Dr. Ron

top 3 things parents should know about introducing allergens early

introducing allergens early (4 – 6 months of age) helps prevent food allergies

baby sitting in high chair holding bag of puffworks baby peanut butter puffs

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends introducing peanuts as soon as babies start solids, typically between 4 – 6 months of age. Early exposure to peanuts and other allergens helps your baby’s immune system learn to recognize these substances as harmless, reducing the likelihood of an overreaction.

“There is no reason to delay giving your baby foods that are thought of as allergens like peanut products, eggs or fish,” Dr. Scott Sicherer, a co-author of the report, said in a statement. “These foods can be added to the diet early, just like foods that are not common allergens, like rice, fruits or vegetables.”

For babies at high risk of developing peanut allergies, early introduction of peanuts is even more important. In 2015, the “Randomized Trial of Peanut Consumption” found that introducing peanuts early to infants at risk for peanut allergy reduced the likelihood of developing an allergy by a whopping 81%.

you can introduce your baby to allergens using real foods

Puffworks baby puffs in white elephant bowl on white wood backround with a small bowl of peanut butter

Some companies have developed protein powders derived from peanut or a mix of other common allergens for parents to administer to infants in specially dosed packets. This isn’t necessary. Studies showing the protective effect of early allergent introduction used real foods. The LEAP study, for example, used a popular Israeli peanut puff snack.

It can be a challenge to find infant-appropriate ways to expose your baby to allergens, since globs of peanut butter and peanuts pose a choking risk. 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.

regular, ongoing exposure to allergens is the key to developing tolerance

Early introduction to allergens is important, but it’s not the whole story. The LEAP study demonstrated that most peanut allergies are preventable if peanut foods are introduced early and eaten regularly until age 5.

For high risk infants, the APP recommends 6 grams of peanut protein per week.