As your baby grows and prepares to eat semi-solid foods, there is one food that every parent needs to incorporate into their baby’s diet–peanut butter.
With rising rates of peanut and other food related allergies, you need to take action to reduce the risk of your baby developing a peanut allergy. According to the LEAP study, you can lower the risk of food related allergies by consistently incorporating these foods into your baby’s diet between the ages of 4-6 months.
In addition, new USDA guidelines recommend introducing peanut (and egg) starting at 4 months of age for every baby to help prevent up to 80% of food allergies. Learn more about the USDA guidelines here.
In this article, we are going to show you 3 simple recipes that you can make at home to begin exposing your baby to peanuts–one of the leading food allergies. Using these recipes, you can decrease the likelihood of your baby developing a food allergy.
Peanut Butter Apple Puree
In your baby’s transition to semi-solid food, one of the best options is to make purees. This recipe is safe for babies at about 6 months old or when they are able to consume semi-solid textures.
Think of this as the baby equivalent of a protein shake or smoothie without the straw. With just 4 simple ingredients, this is a parent favorite and a great way to introduce your baby to peanut butter.
There are several varieties of apple, but not all are created equal. Some are better than others for your baby. In general, Apples are considered one of the “dirty dozen” foods which include higher rates of pesticides. When purchasing apples, organic is the best choice to avoid pesticides.
Another factor you should consider is the sweetness of the apple.These are the best apples for babies because the sweetness is appealing to their palates. Some examples are Gala or Fuji which are either sweet or have a mild flavor. Since they are less acidic and tart types of apple, they will be easier for your baby to digest.
1/4 Cup of Water
In this recipe, water serves to create a liquid texture and take away some of the peanut butter’s thickness. As your baby’s digestive system develops and matures, you may be able to substitute milk or other liquid ingredients. To start, stick with water.
2 Tablespoons of Smooth Peanut Butter
Use a natural and smooth peanut butter for this puree. Since the texture is smooth, it has a lower likelihood of being a choking hazard. In addition, natural peanut butter isn’t made with hydrogenated oil, so it is a healthier choice.
There are also numerous dietary benefits outside of allergy prevention. Peanut butter has vitamins, iron, folic acid and fiber. It is also high in monounsaturated fats, which are good for the heart. Lastly, it is a great source of protein, which is great for growing babies.
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
Cinnamon is not necessary in this recipe, but will add flavor profiles that make it more enjoyable for your baby. Cinnamon also has health benefits such as being high in antioxidants.
1. Rinse the apple using water.
2. Cut the apple into slices, then place them in a blender. Be sure to take out any seeds, stems or other unwanted parts of the apple.
3. Add 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to the blender.
4. Pour 1/4 cup of water into the blender.
5. Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the blender for flavor.
6. Put the lid on and press the puree option. If the blender doesn’t have this option, blend the ingredients until it has a smooth texture like applesauce. There should not but chunks of apple.
If needed, add more water to create this consistency.
Peanut Butter and Blueberry Toast
Did you ever have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches growing up?
Imagine a healthier version with real berries instead of sugar packed jellies. Since the USDA recommends no added sugar before the age of 2, this is a great alternative. The only sugar in this one comes from natural ingredients, giving your baby the classic sandwich in a new form. It’s a great finger food for babies ages 8 months and up.
When deciding which type of peanut butter to get for this snack, all natural is best. You want to give your baby a creamy peanut butter, not a chunky one. A smooth texture, plus the limited ingredients in an all natural peanut butter make it the best choice for this recipe.
2 Slices of Bread
Bread comes in many shapes, sizes, and varieties. From a health perspective, whole wheat bread serves as a great option due to its fiber content.
When choosing which bread to give your baby, remember that any seeds or nuts are an added choking hazard. Cutting off the crust to the bread of your choosing will also reduce the risk of choking.
1/4 Cup of Blueberries
As you begin introducing your baby to peanuts, a great way to draw contrast is through sweetness. This recipe calls for blueberries, but you can experiment with any fruit. Blueberries are naturally quite sweet and will most likely attract your baby’s taste buds.
Along with being sweet, blueberries have tremendous health benefits. They are high in nutrients such as Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Manganese.
1. Put slices of bread into the toaster until they are lightly toasted. This ensures that the bread has a different texture, but is not overly burnt which could lead to choking.
2. Rinse off the blueberries using a strainer. Dry them with paper towels afterwards.
3. Spread peanut butter on toast. A thin layer is a good starting point, but you can increase the amount as you see fit for your baby.
4. Place blueberries on top of the peanut butter. Although this recipe calls for 1/4 cup, you can do less or more depending on your baby’s preference.
5. Cut pieces of toast into quarters. This will help your baby learn to hold the toast, practicing motor skills. It also reduces the choking hazard.
Peanut Butter and Banana Cookies
Peanut Butter and Banana is always a winning combination. This simple, yet delicious recipe is great for babies 8 months and up.
1 Cup of Quick Oats
As the name implies. Quick Oats will cook the fastest. Not only will they cook the fastest, it also produces the softest cookies. This will be easier for your baby to chew and enjoy.
Oats have many benefits for babies. They are excellent for digestion and high in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Perhaps most importantly, they blend well with other ingredients, in this case peanut butter and bananas.
2 Medium Sized Bananas
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits given to babies. This is because they are soft and can be mashed up to create a different texture. They are also packed with nutrients and are sweet, making it more attractive to babies. In this recipe, the riper your bananas, the sweeter the cookie will be.
1/4 Cup of Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter is used to help bind the other two ingredients in this recipe together. Although it is a small amount, this will serve as an additional flavor which combines especially well with banana.
Another health benefit of peanut butter is that it contains iron and calcium. This will promote strong bones as your baby grows.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Use a large mixing bowl to mash bananas until smooth. A fork or spoon will be best
4. Use a spoon to mix in 1/4 cup of peanut butter. Mix until the peanut butter is blended into the banana.
5. Add oats and mix until fully combined.
6. Form tablespoon sized cookies and place on the baking sheet (from step 1). Be sure to make cookie shapes (not balls).
7. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
8. Let cookies cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Key Takeaways for Parents
Introducing your baby to peanuts at a young age can help prevent food allergies. Try these 3 simple recipes to start. Each is delicious and easy to prepare.
All health-related content on this website is for informational purposes only and does not create a doctor-patient relationship. Always seek the advice of your own pediatrician in connection with any questions regarding your baby’s health.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.