Feeding peanut products to a baby for the first year of life really can provide protection from peanut allergies later on, according to new research.  This includes even those children with a strong family history of food allergies and those with eczema.

The new study suggests that if a child was fed a soupy, peanut-butter mush within the first eleven months of life, then at the age of five they can afford to stop eating the food entirely for a year and maintain no allergy.

Lead author Prof Gideon Lack said: "(The research) clearly demonstrates that the majority of infants did in fact remain protected and that the protection was long-lasting."

This reverses the advice that parents usually get, which was to delay the introduction of peanuts to high-risk children.  That's not to say that parents should rush in and start mixing peanut butter and water - Doctors who've developed new interim guidance based on the emerging evidence of the benefits of early, rather than delayed, introduction of peanut still say "infants with eczema or egg allergy in the first 4 to 6 months of life might benefit from evaluation by an allergist".

All this builds on research released last year which claimed early exposure to peanut products could cut the risk of allergy by 80%.