Peanuts and Eggs during weaning – when to introduce?

I’m often asked about when to introduce foods that could potentially cause an allergic reaction. In the past, children have been held off eating peanuts up until their third birthday or possibly longer. However, it’s now thought that avoiding certain foods like peanuts or eggs may actually increase a child’s risk of being allergic.

Exclusive breastfeeding until the age of 6 months is still recommended. After 6 months, when weaning begins, the government’s food advisory panel (SACN) suggests starting children on peanuts, eggs and any other food thought to have allergic potential as part of the weaning process.

“The deliberate exclusion of peanut or hen’s eggs beyond six to twelve months of age may increase the risk of allergy to the same foods. If initial exposure is not continued as part of the infant’s usual diet, then this may increase the risk of sensitisation and subsequent food allergy”.

So – unless there is a known history of food allergy in the family, peanuts and eggs may be introduced as part of the weaning diet.

Hayley Kuter

Paediatric Dietitian

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