Could eating peanuts save your baby from peanut allergies?
New National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases guidelines recommend feeding kids peanuts early.
A spoonful of sugar might make the medicine go down, but a spoonful of peanut butter could make you not need medicine in the first place. A new set of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) guidelines recommends feeding kids peanuts early to stop them from developing peanut allergies.
It sounds counterintuitive, but it's something many scientists have known for a long time. They first started noticing this phenomenon in Israel, which may have such low rates of peanut allergies because they feed their kids peanut-infused snacks early and often.
"Peanut allergy is a growing health problem for which no treatment or cure exists," explains the NIAID website. "The allergy tends to develop in childhood and persist through adulthood. However, recent scientific research has demonstrated that introducing peanut-containing foods into the diet during infancy can prevent the development of peanut allergy."
Not that you should be shoving handfuls of peanuts into your infant's mouth. The guidelines suggest feeding babies pureed food mixed with peanut powder.
“Living with peanut allergy requires constant vigilance. Preventing the development of peanut allergy will improve and save lives and lower health care costs,” explained Anthony S. Fauci, a NIAID director. “We expect that widespread implementation of these guidelines by health care providers will prevent the development of peanut allergy in many susceptible children and ultimately reduce the prevalence of peanut allergy in the United States.”
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