Why should I introduce peanut products to my baby so early in life?

Introducing peanut products to your baby early in life can help prevent him from developing a peanut allergy later on. Ask your doctor when it is right to introduce peanut products for the first time.

What should I do before giving my baby peanut products for the first time?

  • Talk with your baby’s doctor about whether he is ready to try peanut products.
  • If your baby has other known food allergies or very bad eczema (dry, scaly patches of skin), ask your doctor if your baby should have an allergy test or see a pediatric allergist (allergy doctor).

How do I introduce peanut products?

Safety tips

  • Give the first taste when your baby is healthy. Do not give the first taste if he has a cold, fever, diarrhea or other illness.
  • Give your baby his first taste of peanut products at home. Do not give the first taste at day care or in a restaurant.

Timing tips

  • Set aside at least 2 hours after the first taste to watch your baby for a reaction. Make sure you or another family member can give full attention to your baby.
  • Wait 10 minutes between the first and second taste. If your baby does not have any reaction after 10 minutes, give the rest of the peanut butter at his normal eating speed.
  • Give your baby 2 teaspoons (6 grams) of peanut products at least 3 times per week. This will help prevent him from developing a peanut allergy later in life.

Tips while your child eats

  • Prepare a full serving of peanut butter from a recipe below.
  • Offer the first taste on a small spoon.
  • For babies and children under age 4, mix peanut butter with 1 safe food at a time. Do not give plain peanut butter to any baby or child under age 4.
  • Do not push your baby to eat more than he wants.

Peanut recipes for babies

Option 1: Peanut butter puree

You will need:

  • 2 tsp. smooth, all-natural peanut butter (with no added ingredients)
  • 2-3 tbsp. of plain yogurt or pureed (smooth) fruit or vegetable that your baby likes
  1. Mix peanut butter and yogurt or fruit or vegetable puree. Add more water if you want the puree to be thinner.

Option 2: Peanut butter powder sauce

You will need:

  • 2 tsp. powdered peanut butter or peanut flour
  • 2-3 tbsp. of warm water, oatmeal, applesauce or mashed banana
  1. Mix peanut butter or peanut flour with the water, oatmeal, applesauce or banana.
  2. Let the mixture cool.
  3. Add more water if you want the mixture to be thinner.

Option 3: Bamba® peanut butter puffs

You will need:

  • 21 Bamba® peanut butter puffs
  1. For babies aged 7 months and under, soften puffs in 4-6 tbsp. of water. Feed your baby one puff at a time.
  2. For babies older than 7 months or who can eat dissolvable solids, feed puffs one at a time as normal.

A note about choking

  • Only give your baby smooth peanut butter.
  • Never give your baby chunky or crunchy peanut butter. Your baby can choke on the small peanut pieces.
  • Never give your baby whole peanuts or pieces of peanuts.

A note about food allergies

When your baby is trying a peanut product for the first time, it is important to watch him for signs of a food allergy. An allergic reaction can happen up to two (2) hours after trying a new food.

What is a food allergy?

A food allergy is when your body mistakes a certain food for something dangerous or unknown.

What are common signs of a food allergy?

  • Rash or hives (swollen red bumps) around the mouth or on the face or body
  • Swollen lips, tongue or face
  • Itching
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing
  • Change in skin color (blue or pale)
  • Wheezing (whistling sound when you breathe in)
  • Trouble breathing
  • Suddenly feeling tired or drowsy
  • Feeling like your body is going limp

What to do if your baby has an allergic reaction

  • Call 911 or take your baby to the emergency room right away.
  • If your baby’s allergist (allergy doctor) has created a Food Allergy Action Plan, follow the steps.
Rev. 9/2017. Mass General for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.