Keen to try peanut butter for babies? Is it safe? Let’s find out.
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?
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 kind of peanut butter is good for babies?
Can babies have peanut butter?
Previously, scientists believed that babies with eczema or egg allergies should steer clear of peanuts.
But recent studies suggest that early introduction to peanuts could actually stave off a childhood peanut allergy.
See what your pediatrician thinks might be the right course of action for your little one.
They might recommend an allergy test before you get started.
Your baby is considered more high-risk for peanut allergies if they have:
- 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, it may be a good time to start.
The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend a diet of exclusive breastfeeding until your baby is six months old.
After that, you can start introducing solid foods.
Peanuts are one of the most common allergies in children.
So while you can introduce peanut butter quite soon, it’s a good idea to start them on other low-risk solid foods — one new food at a time.
It can be scary to introduce your baby to a high allergen food. Introduce it slowly and watch for their reaction.
The signs of food allergic reactions to peanuts include:
- Swelling of the lips, tongue, or face
- Difficulty breathing
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in skin color
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 or formula so it’s not too thick.
Offer it to your baby on a small spoon or your finger.
On your baby’s first try, start out feeding them a small bit.
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.
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 is good for babies?
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.
🥜 More on food for babies and toddlers:
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What are the Best First Foods for a Baby?
How Many Ounces Should a Baby Eat? A Chart
The Best First Finger Foods for Baby
Best Finger Foods for a Baby
Prune Juice for a Baby: Good or Bad Idea?
When Can Babies Drink Milk?
When Can Babies Eat Eggs?
Can Babies Eat Fish?
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When Can Babies Have Honey?