The scourge of peanut allergies in the U.S. and Great Britain, which can send kids who suffer from them to the ER in anaphylactic shock if some poor bastard forgets and sends his kid to kindergarten with a peanut butter sandwich, has been viewed with curiosity in Israel. That’s because the allergies are almost unheard of there, and doctors are zeroing in on why: a wildly popular Israeli peanut-based snack called Bamba, which kids in that country start eating around 7 months old.
That’s according to a landmark study published in The New England Journal Of Medicine, which found that the early exposure to peanuts conditions the immune system to not freak out about the kid at lunch with a peanut butter sandwich. Doctors took 600 British babies between the ages of 4 and 11 months, who were considered high risk for peanut allergies due to things like existing egg allergies, and fed half of them Bamba or something similar. By the time these kids turned 5 years old, the Bamba babies had 80-percent fewer allergies than the non-Bamba babies.
The study provides 3 major takeaways for parents: First, fear of peanut allergies is leading U.S. and British parents to keep their kids from so much as sniffing peanuts at all, which may well make them more susceptible to the allergies. Second, unless you have any reason to suspect a serious peanut allergy early on, expose your kids to foods like peanut butter well before their first birthday. Finally, what is this Bamba stuff and where can you get some?