What to Know About Peanut Butter for Babies

What to Know About Peanut Butter for Babies

Keen for baby to get in on the favorite, snack staple? We don’t blame you mama.

As fans of everything Peanut-related, the topic of peanut butter for babies is our top priority. 🥜🥜🥜

Peanut butter is a delicious, healthy way to expand your baby’s new palette.

It’s full of protein, good fats, and essential nutrients.

But with the concern of potential allergies, when can you introduce this appetizing treat?

We know it tastes gooooood but is it safe?

Here’s everything you need to know about peanut butter for babies.

In this article 📝

  • Can babies have peanut butter?
  • When can babies get peanut butter?
  • How do I introduce peanut butter to my baby
  • What should I mix peanut butter with for baby?
  • What kind of peanut butter can I give my baby?

Can babies have peanut butter?

Previously, scientists believed that babies with eczema or egg allergies should steer clear of peanuts.

“There is a higher likelihood for babies with eczema of having other food allergies,” explains Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) Kacie Barnes, “and they do sometimes have multiple.

But that’s not a reason to delay introduction, as early introduction is now seen as protective against the development of food allergies.”

Yes, recent studies suggest that early introduction to peanuts could actually stave off a childhood peanut allergy (we may be biased but 🎉).

And while we love to see it, checking in with what your pediatrician thinks might be the right course of action for your little one is the best route to take.

That might include taking an allergy test before you get started.

Usually, your baby is considered more high-risk for peanut allergies if they have:

  • Eczema
  • Reactions to other high-risk food types, particularly eggs 🥚
  • Anyone in their immediate family with a peanut allergy

When can babies get peanut butter?

When to give a baby peanut butter depends on how far along they are on their food journey.

A rule of thumb?

If they’re past six months old, have started on other foods, and do not appear to be at risk for allergies, experts recommend this as a good time to start.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a diet of exclusive breastfeeding or formula until your baby is six months old.

After that, you can start introducing solid foods – whether that’s through baby-led weaning (BLW) or finger foods.

Peanuts are one of the most common allergies in children.

So while you can introduce peanut butter quite soon as an early first food, it’s best to introduce it solo.

“Allergens can be one of the earlier foods you introduce,” explains Barnes, “but you do want to make sure you isolate each new allergen so you can keep an eye on their reaction, especially if you suspect they may have an allergy or if there is a history or similar allergies in the family.”

It can be scary to introduce your baby to a high allergen food, so just take it slow and watch for their reactions.

The signs of food allergic reactions to peanuts include:

  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the lips, tongue, or face
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in skin color
  • Lethargy

It’s important to get emergency treatment if you notice any of these signs.

How do I introduce peanut butter to my baby

Mix smooth peanut butter with some water, breast milk, or formula so it’s not too thick.

Offer it to your baby on a small spoon or your finger – just make sure its thin enough, because nut butter can be a choking hazard when too thick.

On your baby’s first try, start out feeding them a small bit.

“If you have already introduced toast without issue (wheat), then you could also you use that as a server”, suggests Barnes.

Watch for any allergic reactions within the first ten minutes of tasting.

If they’re doing fine, you can give them a little more.

If there are any signs something is up, speak to your doctor or emergency services straight away.

If your baby has tried peanut butter with formula or water, and they’ve had no bad reactions to it, you may want to experiment with expanding the menu.

What should I mix peanut butter with for baby?

As long as your baby has already been introduced to dairy, you can mix peanut butter up with a bit of yogurt for a filling snack or other soft foods.

You can also mix a little into purees to enhance the flavor and nutritional value.

Applesauce, mashed bananas, and pureed vegetables may all benefit from a peanut butter boost.

Bring out your inner baby chef by blending peanut butter, bananas and milk into a simple peanut butter smoothie.

Or mix it up with their oatmeal.

There are also store-bought finger foods like peanut butter puffs that you can introduce to your baby in the early months.

By the time they’re about nine months old, you might want to try offering them some peanut butter on whole-grain toast cut into small pieces.

By this point, they might be getting used to grabbing onto food themselves. Yep, things are going to get messy.

Also, because whole peanuts are a choking hazard, avoid giving them to your baby until you’re sure they’ll be able to chew them on their own.

This is usually at about four years old.

What kind of peanut butter can I give my baby?

Opt for smooth peanut butter rather than crunchy varieties, especially for the first year.

Check the labels of your peanut butter and make sure there are no hidden extras.

Choose unsalted peanut butter, with no added sugar, sweeteners, hydrogenated oil, or other preservatives.

Just 100% peanuts. 🥜

And speaking of 100% peanut, have you checked out our growing Peanut community?

You’ll find more than fellow avid peanut butter fans paving the way for future pb and jelly lovers.

The convos are always flowing, as are the recipes, top tips, and real moments – all of them…

The doors to our judgement-free zone are open mama.

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