Last updated on 24 August 2009
Peanuts during pregnancy, breastfeeding and early childhood
In August 2009, the Government revised its advice to consumers about eating peanuts during pregnancy, breastfeeding and the first few years of life, in relation to the risk of developing peanut allergy in childhood.
The change in advice followed a major review of the scientific evidence that showed there is no clear evidence that eating or not eating peanuts (or foods containing peanuts) during pregnancy, breastfeeding or early childhood has any effect on the chances of a child developing a peanut allergy. Therefore, the Government’s previous advice that women may wish to avoid peanuts during pregnancy and breastfeeding and not introduce peanuts into their child’s diet before three years of age, if their child has a family history of allergy, was no longer appropriate.
The new advice is given in the table below. This advice refers only to peanuts (also known as monkey nuts or ground nuts), and not to other foods that can sometimes trigger allergic reactions (such as eggs, milk, wheat, and other nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts).
The Government is currently funding a number of studies on peanut and other food allergies, with the aim of improving understanding of how and under what circumstances these conditions develop. It is hoped that these and other studies will provide more conclusive evidence in the future.
|Life stage||Advice on eating peanuts|
|Pregnant or planning to have a baby||
|Breastfeeding or have an infant under 6 months old||
|Introducing your child to solids||