Giving your baby nuts is something that you’ll want to do eventually, if they’re not allergic to them. The real question is when is it best to start introducing them, and how concerned should you be about your baby being allergic to them.
Your first cautionary flag should raise if you yourself have a nut allergy, or if there is one in the family medical history. This increases the chances of your baby having one too, but doesn’t rule out the possibility if everything in the history is clear. Once you have a pretty good idea of their allergen sensitivity, you can then decide when and how to first give your baby nuts.
Perhaps there is a particular recipe that is calling for a certain kind of nut, and you are wondering if it is OK. Most recipes can still be used without using nuts, and most baby food recipes won’t include them. The general consensus is that waiting until after their first year is best, and then carefully introducing it to them from there.
Can I Give My Baby Nuts? Answer: From Year One
Nuts are very nutrition for the body, some more than others, but it’s something that you’ll want to hold off on until your baby reaches their first year. At this point their digestive system will be able to handle them better. You should also make sure that the nuts are properly chopped up and even ground up to make sure that they can eat them properly. You don’t have to go out of your way to give your baby nuts, and you should make sure to test them individually each time a new type of nut is introduced.
Your biggest concern with nuts is that they are notorious at causing allergic reactions, some of which can be pretty severe, especially for an baby. Nuts are included in so many recipes and food products that unless it specifically states that it’s nut free you can expect some sort of nut on it. Because of all of the people allergic to nuts you’ll find allergy information on any package that contains nuts, or even has the possibility of nuts in it. So keeping an eye on allergies might take some diligence early on, after a year or so you’ll know what’s OK and what isn’t.
Nuts come in so many different types you might wonder if you really have to test for each nut before giving it to your baby. But it gets a bit easier when you consider that it rarely occurs that one type of nut is OK, while the other are harmful or vice versa. That means that a total avoidance of all of the tree nuts would be necessary if you have a tree nut allergy, including pecans, macadamias, coconuts, pistachios, Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, hazel nuts, pine nuts, and cashews.
It’s also important to point out that your baby might have a peanut allergy, which is different than a tree nut allergy. A peanut allergy is pretty rare, but the reactions are so severe that it’s worth being extra cautious when introducing them to peanuts. It is possible for your baby to be fine with peanuts, but have a tree nut allergy, so be sure to test separately. Peanuts are legumes, and are distinct from nuts that come from a tree. While a tree nut allergy is more common, a peanut allergy has more severe symptoms, including anaphylactic shock, which is an emergency situation.
The more likelihood there is of your baby having an allergy, the longer you’ll want to wait to introduced them, and you might want to have them tested at the doctor’s office if you suspect they’ll be allergic.
We’re hearing more and more about the importance of nuts in the diet, which means that you might think you’re depriving your baby of the nutrients they need from nuts by waiting to give them until later. But an easy way around that would be to include nuts in your diet while you’re breastfeeding to make sure that you’re running at optimal levels and producing the best milk possible. They may still have a reaction, and if they do you can simply stop. If they don’t you may be helping them avoid allergies later on.