Early introduction of peanuts is thought to help the immune system tolerate peanut proteins. Nuts should be incorporated into an infant’s diet from 6 months of age to prevent sensitivity and maintain tolerance. Research suggests that introducing peanuts between 6-12 months of age can reduce peanut allergy in high risk infants e.g. those with significant eczema/ egg allergy. However always speak to your doctor or dietitian before introducing nuts if your child is high risk.
Avoid chopped, whole nuts and crunchy nut butters as these can pose a choking risk.
Here are some examples of how to add nuts into an infant or childs diet:
Pesto traditionally contains pine nuts, or if you make your own you can use other nuts instead. Mix pesto into pasta for a tasty finger food.
Mix ground nuts into home made curry to thicken the sauce and add extra flavour. Depending on your child’s weaning stage, the curry can be blended, chopped up small, or given as the whole family eat it.
Add boiling water to mixed nuts and dried fruits such as apricots and prunes. Leave overnight to soak, and blend into a puree. Add to plain yoghurt for a yummy dessert, or to porridge for a tasty breakfast.
Add smooth nut butters and ground nuts to porridge.
Top toast with smooth nut butters for a finger food breakfast. Add chopped banana to add different textures and nutrients.