Peanut Butter For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Precautions

7 min read

Written by Aparna Hari

Aparna Hari

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.

Peanut Butter For Babies

Peanut butter is a good option if you want a yummy and nutritious snack that your baby could love. It is loaded with nutrition which helps in immunity building babies. But, to decide when to introduce peanut butter for babies, you might receive contradicting advice from people. Some suggest that you must wait until your baby turns three years old; other studies also suggest that early introduction results in deceased nut allergies.

In this article, let us look more into when to introduce peanut butter to your babies, whether it is safe, the benefits, side effects, and precautions before introducing it. Let us get started.

In This Article

When to Introduce Peanut Butter to Babies?

This is the most sought question for many parents. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology suggests that peanuts and peanut butter can be introduced to babies only after all other solids have been introduced i.,e., between 6 to 8 months. While some advice to introduce after 3 years of age, the newest guidelines are more good news to all the parents.

In 2017, The National Institutes of Health (NHI) and other agencies reviewed the evidence of LEAP trials and released new guidelines for introducing Peanut butter to babies. The guidelines are as follows.

  • Babies with an egg allergy or acute eczema, and those at a higher risk of getting the peanut allergy, will be given at around 6 months. Ensure you have a word with your pediatrician before doing this. Some doctors might suggest a controlled allergy test in advance.
  • Peanut butter can be introduced after 6 months for infants with mild eczema. It is also suggested to have a word with the pediatrician before introduction.
  • Other babies are free to begin their peanut journey 6 months after the solids are introduced.

In 2015, a study proved that children are at a higher risk of developing peanut allergy when peanuts are introduced later than those introduced earlier than 1 year of age. This is when the landscape of introducing peanuts to babies took a diversion and led to several other studies.

Is it Safe For Babies to Have Peanut Butter?

baby eating peanut butter

Yes. It is entirely safe for your baby to have peanut butter if the following conditions exist.

  • Your baby is between 6 to 8 months, and you have started introducing solids.
  • The baby does not show any allergy to peanut butter.
  • The peanut butter is as smooth as possible to enable the baby to eat.
  • Ensure that the peanut butter is thin in consistency, mixed with other foods, and offered in small quantities.
  • Keep an eye on the baby eating and do not feed them when they are not in the upright position.
  • Big chunks of sticky peanut butter could also be a choking hazard.

Nutritional Value of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is one of the much-loved food. The following is the nutritional value of peanut butter as published by the USDA for 32 grams ( 2 tablespoons) of peanut butter.
Nutrients Value
Total Calories 190 Kcal
Fat 16 Grams
Sodium 136 Milligrams
Carbs 8 Grams
Fiber 2 Grams
Sugar 3 Grams
Protein 7 Grams

The following are the other vital nutrients you get from 32 grams of Peanut Butter. The quantities are expressed in the composition percentage of Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI).
Nutrients % of RDI
Copper 43
Manganese 28
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 25
Iron 22
Folate 20
Potassium 18
Vitamin E 18
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 17
Magnesium 14
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) 11
Zinc 10
Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) 9

Amazing Top 5 Benefits of Peanut Butter For Babies

Benefits of Peanut Butter For Babies

Peanuts are loaded with nutrition and offer the following benefits for babies. Here are a few benefits your munchkin can gain from having peanut butter.

1. Promotes Growth and Development

Peanut butter is a rich source of protein which will aid in the overall growth and development of your baby. Babies grow through multiple growth spurts and milestones. Peanut butter’s high protein content ensures that these growth needs are met.

2. Rich in Vital Nutrients

From the table above, it is clear that peanut butter is an excellent source of many important nutrients. Babies can be picky eaters which can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Peanut butter is a tasty food that can help babies get their required nutrients.

3. Boosts Immunity

Zinc has very good levels of zinc which is essential for boosting the immune system. Babies have an immature immune system and need extra protection. Peanut butter helps improve your baby’s immune levels which is very much essential during their growing years.

[Read : Zinc For Babies]

4. Boosts Brain Development

Peanuts contain components called polyphenols. These improve blood flow to the brain and which results in an overall improvement in your baby’s brand development, cognitive skills and memory.

5. Improves Bone Health

The phosphorous content present in peanut butter helps in the improved absorption of calcium into the body. Phosphorous also contributes to healthier bones for your baby, which will be beneficial as they grow.

Four Main Precautions to Follow When Introducing Peanuts to Babies

Before introducing peanuts to your baby, you need to take certain precautions. You need to know what all peanuts can do for your baby apart from giving the nutrition bundle.

1. Keep an Eye Out For Eczema and Egg allergy

Several studies have proven that babies with eczema or egg allergy are at a higher risk of Peanut allergy. If your baby has any of them, you may need to discuss them with your expert doctor before introducing the peanut butter.

2. Be Aware – Peanuts Can Give Rise to Choking Hazards

Peanut butter is thick and can put your infant at risk of choking. Never try to give your baby a whole peanut until they begin with finger foods. Even then, try to mix them with other foods and offer them in smaller quantities to ensure they don’t develop severe allergies.

[Read : Infant Choking]

3. Be Vigilant

If your baby is not prone to eczema or egg allergy, you may proceed to introduce peanuts. But be vigilant and mindful. Make sure you always supervise and be watchful. Look for allergic reactions that may develop. The following are symptoms to look for immediately after eating peanuts.

  • Runny Nose
  • Redness or swelling of the eyes
  • Irritation in the throat.

4. Avoid Giving in Excess

Peanut butter is high in fat. Moderate consumption is essential to avoid unnecessary weight gain and obesity in the long run.

Are There Any Side Effects of Peanut Butter For Babies?

Side Effects of Peanut Butter For Babies

Peanuts are known allergens and can cause side effects in babies. Here are a few facts you need to know about the side effects of peanut butter in babies.

  • It goes without saying that babies allergic to peanuts will be allergic to peanut butter too.
  • Babies already having eczema and egg allergy are at a higher risk of developing peanut allergies.
  • If allergies, especially peanut allergies, run in your family talk to your pediatrician for the right guidance on when you can start peanut butter for your baby.
  • Make sure you offer the peanuts in smaller quantities and look for allergy symptoms.
  • Allergy symptoms for peanuts are like your regular allergy symptoms and include redness, itching, swelling, hives, swelling in the throat, around the mouth, and difficulty breathing.

What Does a Peanut Allergy Look Like in Babies?

Peanuts are both a yummy and nutritious snack for babies. But, not to forget, it is highly allergic. If you plan to introduce peanuts and peanut butter to your babies, you must be cautious about the following symptoms of peanut allergies.

  • The mouth and the skin become red – the part which was in contact with the peanut.
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Clear discharge with a runny or stuffy nose
  • Itchy or redness in the nose
  • Face swelling, including puffed eyes.

While the above symptoms are common, the following symptoms occur in worst-case scenarios.

  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Mouth Swelling – including the tips of the lips and tongue
  • Fever with a temperature higher than 97 degrees
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Throat swelling
  • Weak Pulse
  • Unconsciousness

Allergic reactions begin immediately after eating or touching the peanuts. Sometimes, it may take up to four hours to react. The delayed reaction could be pretty tough to diagnose.

Top 4 Ways to Include Peanut Butter in Your Baby’s Diet

Include Peanut Butter in Baby's Diet

Peanut butter is a versatile spread and can be given to your baby in many ways. Here are a few examples.

1. Add it to Your Baby’s Porridge

Peanut butter is easy to include in your baby’s diet once you have ruled out allergies. Just stir in a spoonful in your baby’s bowl of breakfast cereal, cornflakes, or even porridge to make it yummy and healthy.

2. Add it to Your Baby’s Fruit and Veggie Purees

Your baby may not like eating plain purees. Adding peanut butter is a healthy way of boosting the flavor and nutrition factors.

3. Use it as a Dip

Once your baby is comfortable with finger foods, you can give them peanut butter as a dip for their veggies. You can dilute the peanut butter by adding water or yogurt.

4. Spread in on Toast

After you have introduced bread to your baby, you can spread the peanut butter and offer it to your munchkin and see them gobble it in no time.

Peanut butter is a much-loved and nutritious snack for babies and kids. While there is a debate on the right time to introduce this delicious food, most pediatricians believe that peanut butter for babies is safe after 6 months of age. Do talk to your doctor to understand if your baby is ready for this food and how much quantity you can safely give to your munchkin. Don’t forget the 3-day-rule to rule out allergies.

[Read : The 3-Day Wait Rule For Babies To Introduce Solids]


1. Can Babies Eat Peanut Butter Every Day?

Yes. Experts suggest that you can introduce two tablespoons of peanut butter to your babies three or more times a week. This is to ensure that they don’t develop any peanut allergies.

2. What if the Baby is Allergic to Peanut Butter?

If your baby is allergic to peanut butter, it is better to talk to your pediatrician and check for medications. Seek his advice on the further continuation of peanuts.

3. Can Peanut Butter Cause Constipation in Babies?

Yes. If your little one consumes excessive peanut butter, it can cause constipation.

Read Also: Butter For Babies – When to Introduce, Benefits and Precautions

Aparna Hari,MBA in Marketing,P.G. Diploma in Human Resource Management from IGNOU Bachelor of Sciences (Home Science) from Nagarjuna University

Her experience in impactful writing combined with her background in Home Sciences makes Aparna the perfect candidate for content writing in the pregnancy and parenting niche.Read more.

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