The advice seems counterintuitive, but it's based on research. (Photo: Flickr/Danielle Segura)
A pediatricians’ group is recommending that infants at high risk of peanut allergies be given foods containing peanuts before they turn 1.
The interim guidance is in response to a major allergy study published earlier this year that found that exposure to peanuts in infancy seemed to help build tolerance - contrary to conventional thinking.
Baby-suitable foods used in the study included smooth peanut butter, peanut soup and finely ground peanuts mixed into yogurt and other foods.
The advice comes in a consensus statement that the American Academy of Pediatrics helped prepare and endorsed in June along with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and several foreign allergy groups.
The academy is releasing the statement online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Allergy tests are recommended before exposing at-risk infants to peanut-containing foods between 4 months and 11 months of age.
These are youngsters who’ve had skin reactions to eating eggs or a severe eczema skin rash, which suggests a possible food allergy.
The recommendations are meant to serve as interim guidance while more extensive guidelines are prepared by the National Institute of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Those are expected by next year, the consensus statement said.