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Thoughts on Peanut Allergies

September 29, 2008

A grainy photo from the “wild life cam” showing the elusive monkey pajamas and the nocturnal habits of Morgan and his faithful chihuahua Claire 🙂 Also a good indicator of how tiny our little one is! Remember, Claire is 3.5 lbs.

I got a comment from Alyssa regarding introducing nuts to the little guy. It can be a bit scary to try them out–given that nuts are a top allergen and the allergies can be fatal.

Most pediatricians recommend holding off on introducing nut products until 3 years of age if there is a history of nut allergy in the family or if the child has asthma or eczema. However, you can introduce nut butters as early as the age of 1 provided that you are cautious. I recommend going to the http://www.foodallergy.org/ website for more information or talking to your pediatrician first.

Signs of a nut allergy:

hives
difficulty breathing or asthma symptoms
swelling of the mouth or throat
vomiting or diarrhea
loss of consciousness

Morgan does have a history of eczema–but with his low body weight and small stature, I decided to introduce peanut butter after his first birthday because it is a concentrated source of calories and rich in fat for development. That said-I introduced the peanut butter when my husband and I were both at home (he is a physician–and I kept a close watch on him)
Peanut butter can also be a choking hazard– The first time I offered it to Morgan, I spread a thin layer of it on a graham cracker and gave it to him with his snack. I knew that the other foods he ate were already well tolerated–so if he showed any sign of allergy it would be the peanut butter.
The next day, there had been no effects so I introduced a larger amount. He loves the taste of peanut butter and it has been a wonderful way to increase the amount of calories that he takes in without adding a lot of bulk to his diet.
We now add peanut butter to oatmeal, pancakes, mashed sweet potatoes, and graham crackers. Yesterday, Morgan ate his first peanut butter sandwich with pumpkin butter on wheat bread. I was pretty nervous about him choking on the sandwich so I held it for him to bite. This turned out to be a wise choice, because he loved the taste and wanted to pack as much into his mouth as possible!
If you’ve ever seen the baby “chipmunk cheeks” you know what I am talking about! He stuffs the food in and when his mouth is full he dumps it all back out. YUCK.
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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Jen permalink
    September 29, 2008 5:26 pm

    Hi Jen-i have been a silent reader of your blog for a while now and I thought I would out myself.I am a mom to two from VN and they are 20 months old and we have been home since June 07. I thought I would share a recipe that I adapted that my kids love and I think is pretty good for them. Cook 1 large sweet potato in the microwaveSteam 2 cups of baby carrots (till very soft)Steam 2 cups broccoli crowns (till very soft)Cook 1 lb box of your choice of pasta ( I use Barilla Plus elbows or penne)In a blender or food processor puree:cooked & peeled sweet potatoecooked carrots1 cup whole milk2 tbs butterblend till smoothIn a stock pot combine sweet potatoe puree, pasta and broccoliStir until coatedAdd in 2 cups shredded cheddar cheeseStir well until broccoli is well broken up and cheese is meltedI add parm cheese on mine but the kids don't care for it as well.salt and pepper to taste*sometimes I add a little spinach and tofu to the puree to boost the nutritional value*Enjoy!

  2. Amanda permalink
    September 29, 2008 5:42 pm

    Have you ever heard of nut allergies being more of an “american” thing? My Godson is severely allergic to nuts and when Poppy came home I asked his mom about how and when we should intro. nuts to her and she said to not be concerned because it is primarily an american thing! So I started giving Poppy all different kinds of nuts right away and luckily she didn’t end up having a reaction. Just curious if anyone else has ever heard of that.

  3. Jen permalink
    September 29, 2008 5:44 pm

    Jen–Thank you so much for the recipe. I can’t wait to try it!

  4. Jen permalink
    September 29, 2008 5:45 pm

    Amanda,I had not heard that peanut allergies were primarily an American thing–but that is interesting! Makes the RD in me want to do a little bit of research…

  5. Kelli permalink
    September 29, 2008 9:26 pm

    It’s amazing to me the number of kids with peanut allergies…I wonder if it is an American thing. I love peanut butter. I can’t keep it in my house or I would have chipmunk cheeks like Morgan..and a chipmunk stomach and chipmunk hips….

  6. Jess and Paul permalink
    September 30, 2008 1:11 am

    Yes, let’s find out if the “its American thing” is true…I thought it was something to do with all our processed foods…but who knows? Is it really just peanuts that we should worry about…or ALL nuts?

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