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When can my baby eat nuts?

When can my baby eat nuts?
Submitted by Parents.com Team

Peanuts and tree nuts (like almonds and walnuts) are not only among the major allergy-triggering foods, they're also more likely to cause serious or life-threatening reactions and are a choking hazard for babies and young children. For this reason, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests you wait until your child is 4 before offering nuts; chop nuts into teeny pieces if you give them to your child earlier. Since peanut butter and other nut butters aren't a choking hazard if spread thinly, it's fine to spread some on bits of bread or crackers after 12 months. (Though if you have a family history of allergies, your pediatrician may suggest you wait longer).

Although most children are not allergic to nuts, it is important to pay attention for signs of a reaction after your kid tries them. Common food allergy symptoms include:

• Hives
• A rash
• Vomiting
• Wheezing
• Runny nose
• Swelling of the lips and face
• Itchy eyes

If you spot these and suspect allergies, call your pediatrician. They usually clear up within a few hours with a little help from an antihistamine like Benadryl.

Severe reactions can trigger the above symptoms plus these:

• Trouble breathing
• Itchy mouth and throat
• Pale, bluish complexion
• Low pulse

For a serious reaction or if you suspect your child is going into anaphylactic shock, you should go to the emergency room right away. The sooner it's treated (with epinephrine and/or steroids), the better.

Copyright 2009 Meredith Corporation.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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I've seen so many claims about the American Academy of Pediatrics stance on nuts, but none (including this article) provide a source. And I haven't found any documentation on their website.
Submitted by andywebertest