Nut products (such as nut butters, pastes and flours) can be introduced to infants at around 4-6 months – and should ideally be a part of their diet by 12 months.

For healthy infants, the National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) recommends exclusive breastfeeding, and then introducing solids – when the infant is ready, at around 4-6 months (but not before 4 months) – with no specific age recommendations for any particular foods [1].

The ASCIA Infant Feeding and Allergy Prevention guidelines support these recommendations [2]. The ASCIA advice includes:

  • When your infant is ready, at around 6 months, but not before 4 months, start to introduce a variety of solid foods.
  • Introduce foods according to what the family usually eats, regardless of whether the food is considered to be a common food allergen.
  • Unless there is an allergic reaction to the food, continue to give the food to your baby regularly (twice weekly), as part of a varied diet. 

The guidelines recommend starting children on allergenic foods, including tree nuts and peanuts, by 12 months, in an age-appropriate form. This applies to infants who have severe eczema, another food allergy, or a family member with a food allergy, even though they may have a higher chance of developing food allergy.

Hold off on whole nuts until children reach around 3 years to reduce the risk of choking. (Note: Some parents/carers may prefer to hold off giving whole nuts until around 5 years of age, dependent on the child).

Previously, it was recommended to delay the introduction of allergenic foods, like nuts, until around 12 months to reduce the risk of allergies. However, there is little evidence to suggest that this can prevent allergies.

In fact, studies suggest delaying the introduction of solid foods, or specific allergenic foods, to infants (that is, after 12 months) is not protective and may in fact increase the chance of developing a food allergy (3-6).  


  1. NHMRC. Eat for Health: Infant Feeding Guidelines Summary, NHMRC Council, Editor. 2013, Commonwealth of Australia: Canberra.
  2. ASCIA. Guidelines: Infant feeding and allergy prevention. ASCIA 2020.
  3. Koplin, J.J., et al., Can early introduction of egg prevent egg allergy in infants? A population-based study. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2010. 126(4): p. 807-13.
  4. Soriano V., et al. Has the prevalence of peanut allergy changed following earlier introduction of peanut? The EarlyNuts Study. J Aller Clin Immun, 2021.
  5. Trogen, B., et al. Early introduction of allergenic foods and the prevention of food allergy. Nutrients, 2022. 14: 2565.
  6. Du Toit, G., et al., Early consumption of peanuts in infancy is associated with a low prevalence of peanut allergy. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 2008. 122(5): p. 984-91.

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