Q: Because there is a family history of allergies, we are just getting ready to introduce our three-year-old to peanuts. What’s the safest way to do this?
A: You’re right to have waited. Although there’s no specific age recommendation, paediatric allergy specialists say children shouldn’t be allowed to try high-risk foods until they can tell you about any symptoms that may occur, such as itchiness in the throat or funny feelings in the lips. For most kids, that’s at about age two or three. When you feel your child is ready, offer a small taste of chopped peanuts (whole nuts can be a choking hazard) or peanut butter, and watch for a reaction. Some parents feel more comfortable doing this when they know help is nearby — for example, in a hospital parking lot.