A baby can have a reaction to a food even if they have ingested it before; the child may not show symptoms the first few times they are introduced to foods such as eggs or peanuts. Peanut allergies have been headlines in the news lately due to the growing percentage of children with this specific allergy. Peanut allergies, as we all know, can have severe outcomes (anaphylactic shock, etc). This is why it is important to safely find out early what your child can and can not eat.

Allergy tests are recommended before exposing a high rick child to peanut allergens, and early on. Pediatricians recommend testing between 4-11 months of age. It was also recommended to give children peanut containing foods before the age of 1, under the widely supported theory that early exposure can help build up a tolerance to the food.

You can expose your child to anything you consume through breastfeeding, and this is the route (even if taken unknowingly) that many mothers take to expose their children to things like dairy, and peanuts. Peanut protein, specifically, is secreted into the milk of mothers through dietary ingestion. This exposure can be a good thing, as stated previously, to help build tolerance. If your child shows any signs of allergy (vomiting, rash, etc), seek professional care immediately.

There have been studies conducted that produced advice conflicting with the belief that exposure prior to one year of age is best. These studies warn that high-risk children (with a family history of asthma, allergies, or eczema) should avoid peanut products, and that breastfeeding mothers should as well, until the child is age 3.

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What is certainly conclusive and not disputed is that peanut proteins (and therefore allergens) are transmitted from mother to baby during breastfeeding. If your baby is high risk, allergy testing is the way to go before exposure. Breast milk is certainly best for baby, but does not eliminate the dangers of possible allergens, so being conscious of what you are eating prior to feeding or pumping is paramount.

Information provided in blogs should not be used as a substitute for medical care or consultation.