The rules about peanuts and children are ever-changing.
First, parents were told keep babies away from peanut butter during the first three years of life to reduce their child’s risk of developing a potentially deadly peanut allergy.
That changed in January, when National Institutes of Health experts instructed parents to introduce foods that contain peanuts into their infant’s diet at 4 months old.
Now comes a new product. It’s called Hello! Peanut, and it contains organic peanut powder and sprouted oat flakes.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the powder and said it is OK to mix into the pureed food of babies as young as 5 months old. The idea is to slowly increase the amount of powder used to reduce the child’s risk of developing a peanut allergy.
The product does not come without concerns
“People have already come up to me and said ‘this is great news, there’s a cure for your son, you just need to feed him a little of these products that are coming out and he won’t be allergic anymore.’ That could be potentially dangerous.”
The second concern is that Hello! Peanut over-promises.
The FDA said in a statement that the evidence of the product’s effectiveness at preventing allergies in kids who would have otherwise developed them is limited.
Is Hello! Peanut right for you?
Maybe. But check with your doctor. For what it’s worth, the package notes:
- This is for babies 5 months or older and without any known peanut allergy or previous exposure to peanut products.
- Parents whose babies are at high risk for allergies because of eczema or an egg allergy should have their child evaluated by a doctor and undergo skin or blood testing for peanut allergy before using the product.
How it works
- The $25 introductory kit contains seven packets filled with a powder of sprouted oat blends. The powder is certified organic, kosher, dairy-free and GMO-free.
- The packets are labeled Day One through Day Seven.
- Parents should mix a packet in with everyday foods, from baby food to homemade purees.
- The amount of peanut contained in each packet increases with each serving.
- The first day contains 200 mg of peanut powder, which is less than a single peanut. The amount of peanut increases over the week to the equivalent of three to seven peanuts.
- If the baby develops a reaction like flushing or hives, the parent should discontinue the regiment and contact a doctor.
- If the baby makes it through the entire week without a reaction, you can purchase $20 maintenance packets containing 2 grams of peanut powder and give it up to three times a week, which, according to instruction, will help sustain a peanut tolerance.