Skip to main content

New guidelines advise to feed infants peanut-containing food

Use this image as both the current Page Image and for News listings

Vancouver – Experts advise that consumption of peanut-based products at an early age reduces the risk of peanut allergy. 

The new guidelines were published today by an international expert panel including the sole Canadian representative, Dr. Edmond Chan, director of the Allergy Clinic at BC Children’s Hospital and head of the Division of Allergy and Immunology and Clinical Associate Professor in the UBC Department of Pediatrics. 

The panel found it is particularly important for “high-risk” infants – those with severe eczema or egg allergy – to consume peanut-based products suitable for infants between four and six months of age, though they should be tested for a possible reaction prior by seeing a specialist, and if not available a family physician. Infants who have no risk, low risk or moderate risk for allergy – the vast majority – should ingest a peanut-based product around six months of age at home, and do not need to be tested beforehand. A good opportunity for parents to review these recommendations with their physician would be at a well-baby check up in the first few months of life, before introducing solids.

“These new guidelines may be a surprise to parents who have been cautioned about feeding peanut-based products to infants," said Dr. Chan. “This has probably led to more peanut allergies. Feeding peanut-based products to children around six months is the best way to prevent an allergy to peanut.”

The new guidelines also include recommendations for preparing non-choking peanut foods suitable for infants, including peanut butter mixed with pureed fruit and vegetables or dissolved in water, or peanut flour or peanut butter powder mixed with pureed fruit and vegetables.
“I can understand parents’ fears – they hear about children having severe reactions, or about parents having to carry EpiPens, and figure that it’s better to be safe than sorry,” said Dr. Chan. “But the safer thing to do is to prevent peanut allergy by feeding them peanut-based products by the sixth month and giving those products regularly thereafter.”

Dr. Chan was asked to join the panel because his research and advocacy work, spanning almost a decade, helps change the mindset about early peanut introduction. He also assisted in earlier guidelines from Canadian and worldwide professional groups that have been echoed in the guidelines publishing today.

Learn more:
The panel was organized by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases after a rigorous 2015 study showed that early introduction of peanuts-based products in high-risk infants dramatically reduced the risk of developing peanut allergy by age five. 
The US guidelines are endorsed by the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and were published by several medical journals, including the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Watch this video for more information from Dr. Edmond Chan and Andrea Stephens.   



BC Children’s Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, provides expert care for the province’s most seriously ill or injured children, youth and young adults, including newborns. Child and Youth Mental Health provides a diverse range of specialized and one-of-a-kind tertiary mental health and substance use services for children, adolescents and young adults across the province. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @BCChildrensHosp.

The Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) plans, manages and evaluates selected specialty and province-wide health care services across BC, working with the five geographic health authorities to deliver province-wide solutions that improve the health of British Columbians. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @PHSAofBC 

The University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine advances research in health and spurs innovation in medical and health professional education. As a province-wide enterprise, our faculty members, learners, staff and alumni are activity involved in leading-edge research, education and community service in university and hospital campuses across B.C. Through collaboration with our partners, we strive to meet the demands of today and tomorrow by contributing to the health of individuals and communities, locally, nationally and internationally. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter @UBCmedicine. 

For more information and to schedule an interview:
Media Contact:
Cara Christopherson
Communications Officer
Provincial Health Services Authority
Communications line: 778-867-7472
BC Children's Hospital
SOURCE: New guidelines advise to feed infants peanut-containing food ( )
Page printed: . Unofficial document if printed. Please refer to SOURCE for latest information.

Copyright © BC Children's Hospital. All Rights Reserved.

    Copyright © 2021 Provincial Health Services Authority.