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Is peanut butter good for you ?

(28 Posts)
Monkeysmom Fri 18-Mar-05 11:55:19

What are the benefits of peanut butter, if any and is it OK to give to my 11 mo ? No history of alergies in family as far as I know.

NomDePlume Fri 18-Mar-05 12:00:15

Not sure it's good for you, as it has a high fat, salt and sugar content. But a light skimming on a slice ot toast everynow and again should be perfectly fine for your 11 month old.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 18-Mar-05 12:03:21

The salt and sugar content varies with the brand - I know ours is no-sugar-added, and I think it's no-salt-added, too.

It's always high-fat, but that won't do your 11 mo any harm.

We love peanut butter in our house, but only ever have the (relatively) good stuff.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 18-Mar-05 12:04:22

Oh, and DS1 loves celery with peanut butter.

It is reasonably high-protein, as spreads go. Not completely lacking in nutritional value.

piffle Fri 18-Mar-05 12:10:58

yes it is but best of you buy a true peanut butter from a health food shop, meridian foods do a dead good one, with only tiny amount of salt added and nothing else
My dd adores it and it is an excellent source of protein, it also is one of the few foods to combine 7 amino acids that are easily assimilated, but it is not a great thing to overeat as it is high in fats although they are "good"fats
Oh and for us ladies, low GI too

WideWebWitch Fri 18-Mar-05 12:21:38

Hi monkeysmom, yes, peanut butter is generally a good food, read John Briffa (he's a nutritionist) on peanut butter here. Don't worry about the fat, it's good fat in peanuts and small children need good fat. From the vegetarian society website:

"Peanuts and peanut butter contain high levels of fibre and protein, as well as many valuable vitamins and minerals such as all B vitamins except B12, vitamin E, calcium and iron. They are an excellent source of unsaturated fat and contain particularly beneficial monounsaturates which are also found in olive oil. Like all vegetables, peanuts contain no cholesterol. Combining peanuts with rice, pulses or grains provides a 'complete' protein, which is why a peanut butter sandwich is hard to beat as an inexpensive, nutritious snack."

More info from the vegetarian society here . I agree, ideally use Whole Earth or a similar brand with no added sugar and salt. Having said that, my son doesn't like those and point blank refuses them <sigh, MIL has a lot to answer for> so I buy Sun Pat, taking the view that it's better to eat peanut butter with some added sugar and salt than not to eat it at all (my son is veggie btw so especially important in his case). Try a small amount first and watch for a reaction and if it's fine, carry on giving it. My 16 mo daughter loves it. HTH

NomDePlume Fri 18-Mar-05 12:23:40

You see, never listen to me. My knowledge (pah!) comes from reading the back of a jar of SunPat

WideWebWitch Fri 18-Mar-05 12:39:05


piffle Fri 18-Mar-05 12:40:22


NomDePlume Fri 18-Mar-05 12:42:32

Chandra Fri 18-Mar-05 12:43:39

NO WAY. A child should never have peanut that early as his digestive system is not yet developed enough to break the complex proteins of the peanuts. You can also trigger a food allergy. DH and me don't have allergies and we never thought DS could be allergic to them as this allergy is unheard of in our respective countries. Still we were careful and waited until 24m instead of the recommended 36... and bang!, here we have it .

WideWebWitch Fri 18-Mar-05 13:16:42

Chandra, not everyone thinks so, article here discussing this which says "The American Academy of Pediatrics even includes peanut butter as a snack food for a one year old child in this article on toddler diets and calls peanut butter a healthy snack." So I guess, as with so many things, it's up to each of us to weigh up the risks vs the benefits of peanut butter and decide what to do. I did give it to my son at about 1 and he doesn't have an allergy now, at 7yo. So actually, it's not as clear as saying "NO WAY" Chandra.

Monkeysmom Fri 18-Mar-05 13:22:10

I didn't know the recomended age to start them on peanuts was 36 weeks
I will definetely wait. DH suffers from astma. Does this count towrds alergies ?

iota Fri 18-Mar-05 13:26:45

36 MONTHS, not weeks

Toothache Fri 18-Mar-05 13:28:56

As I have food allergies (not to peanuts) and also have asthma I was advised to hold off exposing ds to peanuts until he was........ 7!!

Hulababy Fri 18-Mar-05 13:34:09

The Government's eating well site has a weaning suggestion and says peanuts can be given from 6 months:

Nuts and seeds — including peanuts, peanut butter and other nut spreads. Peanuts can be given from six months old, if you always crush or flake them. Don't give whole peanuts or any type of whole nuts to children under five years old because they could cause choking.

It is only children in the higher-risk categories who are recommended to wait until 3 years:

Nut allergy
Some people are allergic to nuts or seeds. Peanut allergy appears to be increasing among children, although it's still uncommon. We don't yet know why it's on the increase.

The children who face the highest risk of nut allergy are those with parents, brothers or sisters who suffer from certain allergic conditions, such as asthma, eczema, or hayfever.

If your baby is in this higher-risk group, it would be sensible to:

avoid eating peanuts or peanut products when you're breastfeeding
avoid giving peanuts, foods containing peanuts (such as peanut butter) or unrefined cold-pressed groundnut (peanut) oil, until the child is at least three years old
always read ingredients lists carefully and, if you're in doubt, avoid the product

zebra Fri 18-Mar-05 13:37:04

Watch out for arachis oil in nappy rash cream, it may be from peanut sources.

aloha Fri 18-Mar-05 13:58:40

It also contains choline, which is important for brain development of the foetus. And it's addictively yummy....if it's in the house, I'm huddled over the kitchen worktop, spooning it in to myself, all furtive-like.

roisin Fri 18-Mar-05 14:07:15

Dh has peanut allergy, so we can't have anything like this in the house.
But the boys probably wouldn't like it anyway, and I would just end up eating it
I LOVE IT! I haven't had any for years though as he can't kiss me if I eat nuts ... it makes him feel sick

On a more serious note, because of family history we held off exposing the boys to nuts until they were 5 yrs (well ds2 was 4 actually), and - fingers crossed - they both seem to be OK with nuts. But they don't really like them. I'm not sure if that's likely to be residual allergic effects, or just the result of late exposure to a strong taste? (They eat practically everything else, and are not at all fussy).

Chandra Fri 18-Mar-05 15:01:54

WWW. I was weaned on egg and certainly my mother ate peanuts while pregnant and surely I had peanut butter before 3 yrs old. This things are part of the national diet and as I said I have no allergies nor does DH. However DS has eczema and since then we follow the guidelines for children on risk of developing further allergies. It did not matter we went organic and to be extra careful, he had developed asthma even when I don't have any near or far relative with it and recently he had an allergic reaction to peanuts. I suppose is like a Russian roulette, so I would rather err on the safe side and not play with that if I ever have another baby. So I sustain my NO WAY as I have took the gamble and... got the shot!

dinosaur Fri 18-Mar-05 15:13:48

LOL Aloha - you and me too!

PrettyCandles Fri 18-Mar-05 15:19:04

I've given mine peanut butter since they were 12m old. I think it's an excellent snack or light supper - on bread it gives two different proteins, fat and fibre, plus it's a seed so loaded with micronutrients and minerals too. You can get a brand (Meridian?) from health food shops that is made purely with peanuts - no added anything - but you have to stir it well as there are no emulsifiers in it and the oil separates. Even if you use the ordinary supermarket brands (and you can get no-added ones there too) the amount of added gubbins is minimal and IMO is justified by the other goodness of peanut butter.

giraffeski Fri 18-Mar-05 15:23:34

Message withdrawn

singersgirl Fri 18-Mar-05 19:18:14

I was advised with DS1 by allergy clinic to wait till at least 3 before introducing peanuts - he had been referred at 7 months for all-over-body hives and we still don't know what it was a reaction too; the allergist told me then that the US recommended waiting till 5, so that is what I've done with both DSs. DS1 had eczema, DS2 has asthma, as does DH, so I erred on the side of caution. But now DS1 (6.5)won't try peanuts anyway - he's worried they will make him ill!

Chandra Sat 19-Mar-05 12:37:45

YEs Giraffesky, it is at least 36m, any allergist could tell you that... sadly, many GPs forget to provide this info to children in risk (and eczema and asthma are good indicators that the child is in risk), or just decide to overlook it asuming nothing will happen, and sometimes it doesn't but if it does it's really a problem.

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