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Allergies and intolerances

What age to let a child have peanuts?

23 replies

PocketTinsel · 14/12/2004 12:02

I'm not talking actual peanuts here, more smooth peanut butter or satay sauces on food. My ds is three and it's not part of his diet. He has had it accidently once tho and was fine. So when did any of you let your kids? Just wondering if i'm being over protective.

I tried this post in food but hardly anyone noticed it. So sorry if there's any confusion.

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catgirl · 14/12/2004 12:18

we gave our ds peanut butter when he was about 15/16 months - he doesn't have any other allergies, so thought we would try it - my dh loves the stuff - I don't ugh ugh - so dh is pleased to have someone else to share it with!

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Flumberrysauce · 14/12/2004 12:32

God didn't know you weren't sposed to give babies peanuts. My 10 month old has had peanut butter on toast for about 2 months - LOVES IT.

Is it bad for them then?

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catgirl · 14/12/2004 12:41

don't think it is 'bad' (but does have a high salt content), but more from an allergy point of view.

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catgirl · 14/12/2004 12:41

pressed the button too quickly... meant to add that if your little one has been eating it and loves it, then obviously no problem!

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TheFennelandtheIvy · 14/12/2004 12:46

just posted on the other thread, I also gave my dds peanut butter under a year. but cautiously, and we have no history of allergies.

peanut butter from health food shops has no salt.

if you DON'T have allergy worries it's such a great food it would be a shame to avoid it.

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Flumberrysauce · 14/12/2004 14:03

Dop, allergies of course. Yeah spose the topic should have given it away.

Yeah I don't know anyone in our family who's allergic to anything.

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aloha · 14/12/2004 14:05

Gosh yes ds has been having peanut butter for ages - he's three now. Likes it and so do I - yum! If he's had it and no allergy, then go ahead. Why not?

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PocketTinsel · 14/12/2004 14:10

Sorry everyone, didn't mean to post and run...
I have tried ds on a tiny bit of peanut butter. and like i say he has had it before by accident.
But all the guildlines thesedays say not before five years..
This to me seems a bit far but peanut allergies can be serious can't they. I'm pretty sure that he is ok with it.
I just don't want to get a slap on the wrist and 'bad mummy'! from other people.. but at the same time feel i am being over cautious.

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PocketTinsel · 14/12/2004 14:13

i also suffer from asthma, and eczema is in the family. But that's not nut related, i wonder if it makes a difference to how careful i should be?

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aloha · 14/12/2004 14:15

The thing is, if he was allergic I would have thought you would have noticed by now - not only has he had peanut butter but there are nut traces on everything these days. If he's not allergic to peanuts then peanuts are fine and won't make him asthmatic or anything.

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PocketTinsel · 14/12/2004 14:23

Oh god no, i know they can't make him asthmatic. It's just that everything is so cautious thesedays isn't it. I stayed of peanuts and p.butter while pregnant with him too. it was what hv advised. I guess i just wanted to hear from other mums that this isn't a hard and fast rule. I've ignored my hv on other points before, but all the guideline for this say 5! which just sounds like over caution. i'm glad to know that other people have just gone ahead.

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PrettyHannukahndles · 14/12/2004 14:38

The '5yo' guidelines are for whole nuts, because of the risk of choking. Both of mine had other nut-butters from about 8-9m and peanut butter from 12m. I often use whole blanched cashews or almonds in cooking, and let them have them whole if cooked soft, else I chop the nuts up a bit. I also give the children sliced almonds and pistachios (from the Indian shop) for snacks.

Nuts are an excellent source of nutrients and it's a shame to miss out on them.

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Pidge · 14/12/2004 14:54

PocketTinsel - if he's already had peanuts and had no reaction, then you're fine. Though I think I'm correct in saying that anaphylactic reactions show up on the second exposure to the allergen.

The eczema, asthma thing is relevant because people with an atopic history are more likely to be nut allergic, and more likely to produce offspring with allergic tendencies.

I'm cautious on the nut front because I have eczema, asthma and a walnut-pecan allergy. But even I have given my 2.4 year ol dd cashews in the form of pesto - it happened by accident and she was fine, so we gave it to her again. I'm holding off on other nuts till she's older.

I read recently that 1 in 70 kids has a peanut allergy - which I thought was pretty high, given the consequences are so drastic.

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PocketTinsel · 14/12/2004 15:05

Ph - always saw the guidelines as something to do with the allergy prospects. I too have tried ds on other types of chopped nuts, and he has been fine.

Pidge - thankyou. I am uprised the figure was so high i've got to say. but then i guess there are varying levels of sensitivity.

I guess the fact that he has had it makes it ok. I don't suppose at this stage he can really "develop" a nut allergy, even tho he's had them before? The whole thing cam about because a friend has a child who is 20 odd months and has peanut butter. when i've always told ds he couldn't have it yet cos he was too small. this equalled a rather confused boy! I guess i may as well let him have it now.

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kinderbobsleigh · 14/12/2004 23:32

You get the reaction the second time - the first time you have the peanut it sensitises you and the second you react. So being fine the first time isn't an indicator.

I think the idea behind waiting 5 years is that then you can practically guarantee that they will always be fine with peanuts. Before then in allergic families they can become sensitised and allergic at any time (could be years down the track).

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Pidge · 15/12/2004 10:07

I was amazed by the one in 70 figure too - but it was in an article on the BBC website - so a fairly reputable source.

It's interesting hearing about becoming sensitised and then the allergy showing up later - I know someone who ate walnut oil as a child and was fine with it, but became allergic to walnuts in her teens. I don't know though if it's a different mechanism for anaphylactic allergies to other kinds of allergies. Wish I understood this better, given I have a non-anaphylactic allergy to nuts.

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PocketTinsel · 15/12/2004 12:04

Thanks Kinderbobsliegh, I'm wondering again now though! It's very interesting what you said, i'd never heard that before. How did you find out about it? ds has had it twice, once as a test and once by mistake of a family memeber . But then i guess by that information that's no indicator.

As far a peanut content in things, it is everywhere. And think that perhaps ds really has had a lot more exposure to it than i think.

Thanks for the link Pidge. It's very interesting. (Not sure that i like the idea of them testing it on dogs though ).

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singersgirl · 16/12/2004 23:59

Hi, My son was sent to the local paediatric allergy clinic at 9 months after a couple of dramatic all-over-body hive incidents - never found out what caused them as the blood tests they did couldn't trace anything specific. It wasn't peanuts, but then he had never ingested peanuts. They advised me, given family history of atopy (husband has asthma, same son had eczema), not to give peanuts until 5. He's now 6 and still refuses peanuts.
I was also told, once they reached 5, that you can test for peanut sensitivity by on day one dabbing a little peanut butter on the arm; if no reaction, on day two a little on the face; if no reaction, on day three, a little on the lips; if still OK, on day four a little in the mouth. We've never got that far as he is convinced he'll be harmed by the nuts! DS2 has asthma like DH so we just live without peanuts.
But if you son has been OK before you probably don't need to go through all this business!

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kinderbobsleigh · 17/12/2004 00:16

Oh just to say that once you give peanuts you should probably give them regularly, like once a month or so. It's been shown that kids that outgrow a peanut allergy but then don't eat the nuts (because they are scared usually) and more likely to grow back into it.

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kinderbobsleigh · 17/12/2004 00:17

Oh just to say that once you give peanuts you should probably give them regularly, like once a month or so. It's been shown that kids that outgrow a peanut allergy but then don't eat the nuts (because they are scared usually) and more likely to grow back into it.

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singersgirl · 17/12/2004 11:39

That's interesting, kinderbobsleigh. I didn't know that. I keep on trying to persuade DS1 to try peanuts, as I would like to rule out allergy. To be honest, I'm pretty certain he's eaten them unwittingly at least once, and I did the dab test on his arm while he was sleeping with no ill effects. DS2 is still only 3, so we are avoiding nuts for another couple of years, as he has asthma.
DS1 never showed any other violent allergic reactions ( a couple of topical ones to sunscreen), but he is now intolerant of various foods. So I think he grew out of allergy and into intolerance, if that makes sense...

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bakedpotatohoho · 17/12/2004 12:27

have feeling Nigella Lawson held off giving her children peanuts until they were in the waiting room at the GP's, which is quite a good idea if you're scared of a reaction

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singersgirl · 17/12/2004 19:19

I've read that too, bakedpotatohohoho. Thought of it myself....

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