When Can I Give Eggs, Peanuts or Fish to My Baby?
Wondering when it’s safe to give eggs, peanuts or other potential allergens to your baby? Pediatrician Kimberly Churbock, MD, explains the latest research.
It’s best to start early in exposing most healthy babies under age 1 to potentially allergenic foods, such as eggs and peanuts. There’s no evidence that waiting until children are older has any benefits. In fact, introducing eggs, dairy, soy, peanuts and fish prevents the development of food allergies.
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An important study in 2015 demonstrated a protective effect against the development of peanut allergy from early and regular incorporation of peanut-containing foods into the diets of infants at highest risk of allergy.
Work with your child’s doctor, and ask about trying these foods in baby-safe (soft) forms from an early age, around the time that you introduce other complementary foods. Infants without eczema, other food allergies or risk factors may start these foods after tolerating a few other solid foods.
For parents of infants with moderate to severe eczema, existing food allergies, or a strong family history of food allergy, it’s especially important to consult with your pediatrician. In most cases, these infants should be exposed to allergenic foods early (usually between 4-6 months of age), but they may require evaluation by an allergist in advance or they may need to try their first bites in the doctor’s office.
— Pediatrician Kimberly Churbock, MD