Originally posted to the anonymous pregnancy blog August 21, 2008.
I love peanut butter. Adam’s Peanut Butter bought in Costco-sized jars permeated my life growing up. Our morning breakfasts almost always included peanut butter in some form. We often ate fruit toast* but sometimes we’d just have waffles with lots of peanut butter and syrup on top. During the Christmas season, my mother would always make “Christmas Candy” which inevitably included peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate.
Several years ago, when I started researching pregnancy, I was appalled to discover that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended atopic women avoid peanuts while pregnant and breastfeeding. The theory was that the baby could develop an allergy to peanuts from this early exposure. I’m atopic and my brother-in-law is allergic to peanuts. I glumly decided that for the happiness of my child later in life, I would have to abstain from consuming peanuts for several years.
However, just a couple months before I actually became pregnant, the American Academy of Pediatrics reversed their stance on peanuts! According to them, “At the present time, there is lack of evidence that maternal dietary restrictions during pregnancy play a significant role in the prevention of atopic disease in infants” (source). I’m excited and very relieved. This past week toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are one of the few lunch items I don’t have any aversion to eating. I can’t imagine what I would be eating if I had to avoid peanuts. Maybe almond butter and jelly sandwhiches? It just doesn’t sound right.
Neither my husband nor I have food allergies but both of our immediate families do. When it comes to food tolerances, I’m really hoping our children take after us rather than our family.
* Fruit toast is toasted whole wheat bread slathered with peanut butter and topped with some sort of fruit sauce, often applesauce.