As many as 2 million American children are estimated to be allergic to peanuts—an allergy that has been catching on in the United States, Britain, and other countries in the recent years. Now, a breakthrough research has claimed that babies deemed to be at high risk for becoming allergic to peanuts are much less likely to develop the allergy, if they are regularly fed foods containing the seed, starting in their first year of their lives.
While most children who are allergic to peanuts only experience relatively mild symptoms, such as hives, some have life-threatening reactions that can include trouble breathing and heart problems. According to the study published in The New England Journal of Medicine, babies who consumed the equivalent of about four teaspoons of peanut butter each week, when they were 4 to 11 months old, were about 80 percent less likely to develop a peanut allergy by age 5.
However, to avoid a choking hazard, doctors say kids should be fed peanuts mixed in other foods, not peanuts or globs of peanut butter. This must be done only after it’s fully safe for babies to consume solid foods.