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 Post subject: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:48 pm 
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How old were your kids when you introduced nuts to their diet? I have an 18 month old and I would like to start giving him almond milk, cashew cream, and I would like to use a dish that uses peanuts and peanut butter. But I get conflicting information on when to start nuts. Some say wait till a year, some say wait till two years. And other sources say the sooner the better.

Both my son and I have a very severe life threatening dairy milk allergy. I had him tested because of how bad mine is and I'm sure that there will be mistakes and chances of cross contamination. And with my son, if someone eats cheese or drinks milk and kisses him after, his skin will break out in that spot. We both have epi pens. Our allergies are both on par with a severe peanut allergy. Because of this, I have a little bit of a fear of other food allergies showing up and my biggest fear is that he'll end up with a peanut allergy. No one in my family has ever had a peanut allergy. I've talked to our allergist and he said that it is ok to introduce nuts. But then my friend said that her allergist said to wait until two years and it just drives me crazy.

I'm thinking that I will listen to our allergist and go ahead and try nuts but keep benedryl and the epi pen handy just in case. But I wanted to hear when other people started feeding their kids nuts.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:18 pm 
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well i dont wanna throw more conflicting info at you but ill pass on what my pediatrician told me when i asked her.
i told her that since i was vegan i cooked with a lot of different nuts and what was the rule these days for potential allergens.

she said the rule used to be to wait until they were one but apparently all the research lately didnt show that that had any benefit as far as preventing a potential allergy. in fact she said there is some evidence to suggest trying it younger might be beneficial to prevent allergies.

sounds like the jury is still sort of out on it so if your allergist says it's fine i would go for it. you already have the epi-pen so at least you will know what to do if you see a reaction

BP is 10 months old but i havent tried any nuts with her yet because she will literally eat no solid foods.

i do tend to wonder about exposure through breast milk?
would it work the same as a milk allergy where the mom has to stop eating dairy if her baby is allergic?

maybe a nut allergy doesnt work quite the same way?

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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:30 pm 
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From the research I have read, it does seem that waiting doesn't help. Countries where women were advised to stop eating nuts while pregnant and breastfeeding have seen a big increase in nut allergies, so it may be that there is some passed through breastmilk, and that this exposure is protective rather than harmful. Of course there isn't definitive proof of that, but it does seem pretty clear that eating nuts while pregnant and breastfeeding doesn't hurt.

There are some severe allergies on both sides of the family, so I didn't introduce solids at all until I had benadryl handy. But once I had that, I went ahead and introduces everything at the generally recommended timeline. Both of my kids had nuts before they were 1.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:51 pm 
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We didn't wait - she had nuts probably in the 6-8 month range, but then again, we don't have any allergies in the family so I imagine I'd be much more freaked if I did. You already know that it's the second exposure that will cause a problem if there's a problem. I've heard of people feeding their kids potential allergens in the waiting rooms of emergency departments even.

Nothing useful here, really.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:53 pm 
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Ariann wrote:
You already know that it's the second exposure that will cause a problem if there's a problem.


what does this mean? that the first time they eat it wont cause a reaction but the second time?

we dont have any food allergies in our family so ive not thought about it much but it's useful info to know.

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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:12 pm 
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The first exposure primes your immune system to respond. When you have subsequent exposures the antibodies are already present so they can respond in force. It's not dissimilar to the way your body fights off an illness after you've had the illness once before (or were vaccinated against it), it's just that this reaction is totally overblown and not helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:47 am 
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Can you get him tested for nut allergies before you introduce them? My kid is allergic to soy and when we tested for that they also tested for a bunch of other things just in case. He came back fine for nuts so I felt OK giving it to him.

I think I waited a little because they say peanut butter is a choking hazard, and I can't remember exactly when I gave it to him. But I'm sure it was before he turned 2. Now he eats it all the time (he is 3.5).

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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:56 am 
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I'm pretty sure that if he's never been exposed to nuts, an allergy wouldn't show up on a York Test or equivalent, because they're looking at a controlled reaction to allergens - and he wouldn't yet have had the immune system reaction to the allergen.

Would you consider introducing small amounts of nuts which are less common allergens? (I only know that walnuts, Brazils, hazelnuts and almonds are more commonly the cause of allergic reaction - so logically there should be lower risk nuts?)

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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:11 pm 
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Since you asked for anecdotal experience, we have no family history of nut allergies so I went ahead and introduced nuts to my son when he was about 6 months old. We did very thin layers of nut butter on toast (because of choking risk) and sauces that included pureed nuts.

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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:23 pm 
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We did nuts pretty early too, not sure when, but well before a year. There are some raw food bars they sell here which have very finely ground pieces of cashews (other nuts in other flavors). F loved them, wasn't bothered at all by the texture and they are good source of protein. Having a dairy allergy as you've described would make me very cautious though too. Definitely try just one kind of nuts in a few instances for a period of time.


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 Post subject: Re: Introducing nuts
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:42 am 
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Like others who've commented, I've also heard that waiting until the kid is older to introduce foods doesn't really help. I am fortunate that I don't have any family history of food allergies, so we introduced nuts fairly early on. (actually, my kid introduced himself when he grabbed some peanut butter toast off my plate) If you've already talked to a specialist and gotten the okay, then I'd do it as soon as possible. Better to get it out of the way now and know what to expect than nervously wait and wonder. I've heard of plenty of people introducing nuts in the parking lot of the pediatrician's office or in the waiting room at the ER, maybe that would make it less scary?


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