Under Two? Avoid Peanuts!

SunButter is interested in the latest news and recommendations on peanuts and other allergens in children, especially in very young kids. Lisa Beach, Ph.D., was kind enough to share her expert opinion with us in this guest blog post. Lisa is a wellness coach and nutrition instructor in Upstate New York, where she works with individual and corporate clients and teaches for multiple colleges and universities both face-to-face and online. She conducts wellness and nutrition workshops in the community aiming to promote a diet consisting of whole, unprocessed foods and an active, balanced lifestyle. Lisa has education and certifications in exercise science, public health, nutrition, community health promotion/education, and mind-body skills. She has conducted research in the area of women’s health using a methodology of exploring how a person’s story and experiences shape and impact lifestyle.  Of course, Lisa’s post reflects her own views, and is not intended to replace your family physician’s advice. You can read more from Lisa at www.thrive-style.com.

Under Two?  Avoid Peanuts! Parents must sift through conflicting opinions on many subjects related to their children’s health and development.  Feeding them peanut-based products is one that many may never have considered.  In the U.S., most parents follow the advice of their physicians regarding when to introduce certain foods and it is generally accepted that infants should not be given any solid foods before the age of four to six months.

Many doctors suggest parents not offer children under the age of two any peanuts or peanut products. Alternately, some experts believe that delaying the introduction of potential allergens (such as peanuts) has no impact on whether or not a child is allergic and believe there is no reason to delay peanut consumption.  From a cautious middle-ground viewpoint and although research is not definitive about waiting until after the age of two to consume peanuts, waiting appears to be in a child’s best interests.

In addition to the significant increase in peanut allergies among our youngest generation, caution is advised because peanuts contain a specific type of fungus (aflatoxin), and can also contain botulism (usually when processed incorrectly). For an average person older than two, small amounts of fungi and toxins do not cause an immediate health risk; a highly developed and healthy immune system resists and fights them. However, existing evidence indicates that repeated exposure to aflatoxins leads to the development of cancer even in healthy individuals, and botulism is the source of serious illness (and even death) if introduced in significant amounts.

Growing infants are in the process of developing a stronger immune system, and while it takes larger amounts of toxins to negatively impact an older person’s health, a baby may become seriously ill from limited exposure. Peanuts are among several other nuts, legumes, and grains that pose a potential risk in small children for allergic reaction or toxin exposure.

It is commonly agreed upon that the safety and health of each child is most important. Isn’t it best to be cautious and not give peanuts to children under the age of two?

We’re interested in your experiences and opinions on this topic, as well. What has worked for you and your children, and what do you recommend? We appreciate all comments.



Follow Lisa K. Beach, Ph.D., CHES:

Releated posts:

A mom’s perspective: coping with worsening peanut allergies

Families across the world are constantly learning to live life to the fullest while dealing with food allergies. Laura and her husband discovered Nya’s peanut allergy when she was only 11 months old. (Unfortunately, the daycare didn’t read Lisa’s advice to avoid peanuts until age two.) Fortunately, the initial reaction was only mild—resulting in a rash. Nya was then diagnosed with a level one peanut allergy.

Caring for children with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease: A story from an RN who is also a mom

May 11 is National School Nurse Day, and SunButter appreciates school nurses, who help keep kids safe—including kids with allergies, diabetes, celiac disease and other conditions. One of newest acquaintances is Wendy, who chronicles her family’s journey at www.CandyHeartsBlog.com. Wendy is also a Registered Nurse, and here, she shares her story as a mom to a daughter with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Wendy also pays tribute to school nurses. As Wendy says, “We heart school nurses!” We heart you, Wendy, and appreciate you sharing your story here.

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  • http://www.dairyfreebetty.com Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty

    Awesome job Lisa!!
    I love sunflower seed butter!! mmmm :) It’s so much better than peanut butter anyways!

  • http://spicedplate.blogspot.com lauren@spicedplate

    The increase in allergies to peanuts has made me avoid them all together. I figure if there are toxins in them that are affecting so many kids and adults, why should i have those toxins in my body even if I don’t react negatively to them? Thanks for all the information in this post, lisa!

  • http://therunnyegg.com Holly @ The Runny Egg

    I don’t have children, and this is definitely something I’d like to learn more about (what foods you should introduce and when, etc).

  • Heather

    good article! I will try sunbutter for myself, too! I’ll be interested to hear what the pediatrician says about nuts…if nothing else it will indicate how current he is on the topic.

  • http://spabettie.com Kristina @ spabettie

    Hello Lisa B! this is a great article – the potential impact of a peanut allergy is scary. I don’t have children, and had never heard of waiting until after age two to try peanuts – that sounds like a good solution.

    A friend recently sent me a single serve packet of sunbutter – I LOVED it!

  • http://www.itzyskitchen.com Erica

    Great article! I will definitely keep this in mind for my peanut. You know I LOVE sun butter!!

  • http://healthandhappinessinLA.blogspot.com Erika @ Health and Happiness in LA

    It does seem like a good idea to be cautious. I can’t imagine how horrifying it would be to feed a little kid peanut butter and then find out they’re allergic…

  • http://www.thrive-style.com Lisa

    Thanks for posting my article—-SunButter is my favorite :)