News | Published December 21, 2012

Ask the pediatrician: Introducing eggs, peanuts, etc. in children's diet

Dr. Collison,

What are the current age guidelines for introducing eggs, peanuts, etc? I think they have probably changed since my 8 ½ year old was little but not sure what they are now. My babysitter apparently gave my 13 month old some peanut butter today - no reaction thankfully but I would love a list that I could pass on. It's amazing how many "rules" have changed in the past eight years! Thanks!

This is a good question, one that there is no consensus on. I will give you what I typically have people do but this isn't necessarily what all pediatricians would recommend.

I put kids into a high risk or a low risk category. High risk for allergies are those that have a family history of food allergies or allergic response to components of formula or even to things in the maternal diet that come through in breast milk. Any of these children should be considered high risk and the allergenic foods such as eggs and peanuts should be introduced after age 3.

For low risk kids, I have a step-wise approach with introducing the allergenic foods. Eggs are okay to be introduced in the 9-12 month range. Some people recommend doing the yolk first, I think it is really hard to completely separate so I don't worry about it in low risk kids. Peanuts can be introduced in the 12-15 month range, as well as fish and strawberries, although not at the same time.

Hope this helps!