Solids Before Four Months To Lower Peanut Allergy Risk?

The Deadly Peanut

Today in the LA Times an article about how early solid foods are tied to lower peanut allergy risk. Until recently, the recommendation was to avoid solids until at least six months (feeding baby only breastmilk and/or formula) to stave off a possible increase in food allergies, and to not give any peanuts or peanut products until after two or three years. Then, they changed it to four to six months.

This article states that giving infants solid foods before four months would lower the risk. Not AT four months, BEFORE four months.

Seriously, when they keep flip-flopping the rules like this, it drives me bananas (ha ha). As I’ve said before,  my husband has an anaphalactic allergy to shellfish, so I am very concerned about food allergies for my children. Personally, I have none of which I am aware, but because a shellfish allergy can be very dangerous, and also a history of any allergies can possibly lead to other allergies– like the deadly peanut, I have taken this recommendation seriously (probably the only one I have, but still). From the article:

Researchers found that among 2- and 3-year-olds whose parents suffered from allergies, those who were started early on solid foods or cow’s milk were about five times less likely to be sensitized to peanuts.

“Sensitized” means that a child has immune-system antibodies directed at a potential allergen — in this case, peanut proteins — and is at increased risk of having a full-blown allergy to that substance.

This particular article states that evidence is definitely not conclusive, and it was a rather small study, so one should always take this with a grain of salt. However, I still believe that giving a baby LESS than four months solid foods seems a little nutty (more solid food puns).

My mother-in-law kept a very detailed baby book of my husband’s infancy. It’s one of those super old-fashioned books that already has most of the information, you just have to fill in the blanks. On the line that says First Solid Food, next to it it says: Bananas, 3 weeks.

The thought of giving a squirmy, red-faced, squinty-eyed, three-week-old infant some mashed bananas is mildly disturbing to me, but my mom says that’s what everyone did in those days. It does seem to me that people my age have fewer allergies than kids today, but I haven’t done a bona fide data collection.

Meanwhile, I waited until 6 months to give Fuzz his first taste of avocado. It was what it was, hopefully he won’t suffer ill effects caused by my waiting too long to give him solids.

For what it’s worth, so far, Shnook doesn’t seem to have any allergies, and I waited until 7 ½ months for him.

I throw my hands up.

Will you give your baby solids earlier based on this study?

Photo: Flickr/Tamburix

Article Posted 5 years Ago
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