Doctors issue new guidelines on exposing children to items containing peanuts

Courtesy of CBS News

JACKSONVILLE, Fl. — Twenty years ago doctors say the golden rule was to never give kids peanut butter or anything containing peanuts until they were at least three years old.

“We have learned over the years that that was probably really bad information.”

According to researchers and doctors like Sunil Joshi, who’s a family and allergy specialist, that suggestion has changed and now they’re encouraging the exact opposite.

“If the child does not have a family history of food allergies and the child him or herself doesn’t have eczema or an allergic skin condition, then it is better to introduce the food even without having to see a specialist very early in life.”

Jasmine Watkins said that’s the method she chose for her kids.

“I’ve been giving my kids peanut butter since they took their first bite. I feed them when I eat and if I eat it they’re going to eat it too.”

Doctors said when you feed kids food containing peanuts it minimizes their changes becoming allergic by 81 percent because the body views it as a familiar substance.

“The longer you wait to introduce it if the child is more likely to develop allergies then they’re going to look at it as a big protein that’s not supposed to be there and react against it,” said Dr. Joshi.

“If there’s no history of a peanut allergy in the family they certainly should not fear introducing these foods early into the diet.”

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