Peanut figured in the list of top ten most common food allergens. At least it did till a recent study suggested something else.
According to the new health guidelines from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), most babies should be fed peanut-based foods well before they turn one, says The Guardian. With this, the risk of developing dangerous allergy to peanut can be curbed in children.
The report also states that the guidelines have clearly mentioned the exact quantity to be introduced to infants, including the correct method to do so. Commenting on the landmark research, Dr Anthony Fauci, director of NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said, “It’s an important step forward. When you do desensitise them from an early age, you have a very positive effect.”
According to the guidelines, prior to introducing peanut-based food in a baby’s diet, it’s essential to let him try other solid foods, to ensure that he is developmentally ready. Of course, if you have your doubts about introducing something new, it always makes sense to have a word with your doctor or visit a specialist.
Peanut-based food can be introduced to tots just like other food items which are a part of their diet. However, for babies with high risk, who already have other allergies or skin issues, peanuts must be introduced only after consulting a paediatrician or a specialist in the field.
Preethi Rajiv, mother to a 3-year-old daughter, recalls how she assumed her child was allergic to bananas, till her doctor suggested that she go for it. "For some reason I felt that my daughter would get cold if she had it. Then her paediatrician recommended that I add more fruits to her diet, and the diet chart included bananas," she laughs.
If like Preethi, you have your doubts about allergens and how to identify if your bub is allergic to a certain food, continue reading.