Eating peanuts during pregnancy is a common question I get from pregnant (as well as breastfeeding patients). It’s understandable—parents are concerned about potential food allergies, which have been rising over the last decade and can be scary and life threatening if their child is diagnosed with one.
At one time it was thought that to prevent food allergies, mom should abstain from eating the allergen. But study data has put this myth to rest. (Click here for a past blog on the topic.) Bottom line…it is OK to eat peanuts.
In fact, recent research says that early exposure to allergenic foods like peanuts is safe.
So go ahead and enjoy that PB&J!
And, offering high allergy foods to babies under one year of age also seems to reduce the risk of developing food allergies. So, no more worries about peanuts, eggs, treenuts, dairy products, seafood, or shellfish—your baby can experience all of these foods starting at six months of age.
In countries that introduce peanut products before age one, kids have a 10 times lower risk of developing a peanut allergy.
Ari Brown, MD