Eggs are an essential part of a child’s diet. They provide the necessary nutrients and the protein that your baby needs to grow up big and strong. Plus, they are easy to cook and are generally inexpensive. However, before you start serving your baby eggs, you need to practice caution as they are a common allergen to many children. The good news is that there is a process that you can go through to ensure that you can introduce eggs to your baby safely. Let’s talk about the steps for how to do just that.
- Eggs contain a lot of nutrients that are essential to a baby's health and development.
- When first introducing eggs to your baby, you should make them in a way that's easy for them to eat. A common method is to scramble them.
- Keep a close eye on your baby when you introduce eggs to them, in case they have an egg allergy.
Why You Should Introduce Eggs to Baby
There are many food items that are essential for a healthy growing baby, and eggs are one of the most important. Eggs are loaded with the building blocks that your child needs to thrive, including protein, fat, and nutrients like iron and biotin. Eggs also contain lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are both necessary for sharp vision and the health of the retinas in your child’s eyes.
Because of the nutrients they have, eggs are also good for your child’s brain and cognitive abilities. One egg provides a healthy dose of choline, which helps the brain to develop properly. They also contain omega-3s, which are essential for improving your child’s memory. The omega-3s also help your child to avoid the risk of arthritis and heart disease as they grow into adults.
Eggs also help your baby to grow big and strong. They have vitamin D, which is necessary for strong bones, and they also have the essential amino acids that help kids to grow healthy hair and fingernails.
If you are thinking that eggs are the true miracle food, then you are right. On top of all of the benefits listed above, eggs also have minimal cholesterol, which means they will not make you unhealthy or obese.
The Steps to Introduce Eggs to Baby Safely
Although we have discussed the many awesome health benefits of eggs, parents must still be careful when they first serve eggs to their babies. That is because there are a couple of issues to remember. One is that eggs can be a choking hazard if they are not properly prepared. The other potential issue is that your baby may be allergic to eggs.
With that said, here are three steps to follow in order to introduce eggs to a baby safely:
1. Understand When Your Child is Capable of Eating Eggs
Before you start feeding your baby eggs, you need to ensure that they can eat them comfortably without choking. Essentially, you can start giving your baby eggs when they are capable of eating solid foods. You will know when they are ready when they are able to sit up in a high chair and hold their head up straight without needing your help.
Your baby must also have the ability to open their mouth when they see food coming. Also, it helps if they are able to easily transfer food from the spoon to their mouth and have the ability to swallow it. Children will typically be able to do all of this at 6 months of age.
2. Prepare the Eggs to Make Them Easy to Eat
Even if your baby is capable of sitting up in their chair, they will still have a small throat, so you must prepare the eggs so that they don’t cause your child to choke. You have several options for how you can prepare the eggs. You can scramble them, poach them, or simply cut them into tiny pieces, just to name a few. You can also add ingredients to the eggs to make them more desirable to your baby, like a bit of breast milk. We have more exciting recipes to consider below.
3. Watch for the Signs of an Egg Allergy
The major concern with feeding your baby eggs is the fact that your child may be allergic. Studies show that eggs are one of the most common allergens for children. However, even with that said, this particular allergy will affect just over 1% of children under the age of 5 years old.
The first time that you feed them eggs, you must stay by their side and watch for the warning signs of a potential allergy. If your child is allergic, then you will likely see the signs within the first few minutes after they eat. Red flags to watch for include:
- Red or watery eyes.
- Runny nose and sneezing.
- Wheezing or difficulty breathing.
- Stomach, pain, nausea, immediate vomiting.
- Immediate skin reaction (rash, hives, eczema).
- Anaphylaxis (essentially a combination of all of the above, including skin rash, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and shock).
Egg Recipes That Your Baby May Love
Some children won’t eat an egg if it is just cut into small pieces without any flair. So, if you want to introduce eggs to a baby, then you may need to get creative. Here are some recipes that you should consider for your child so they can discover their love of eggs.
Mashed Eggs with Vegetables
One way to help your kids eat eggs is to pair them with vegetables. Carrots or peas will do. To make this meal:
1. Boil or steam the vegetables.
2. Mash a whole egg and the vegetables together into a paste that is easy to eat.
Veggies, Eggs, and Brown Rice
Similar to the first recipe, this is a combination of tasty foods that your baby may be excited to eat each day.
1. Cook 1 cup of brown rice.
2. Cook and puree ¼ cup of vegetables.
3. Pour the above ingredients and 2 hard-boiled eggs into a bowl and mash it all into a tasty paste.
White Bean Egg Puree
This is a delicious meal that can be prepared warm or cold and it will taste great either way. It is also an easy meal to take on the go.
1. Puree 1 tablespoon of white beans.
2. Mash up one egg and combine it with the beans.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of milk to create a smooth consistency.
Mashed Hard Boiled Egg
If your child is a picky eater, then it may be a good idea to keep things simple. This recipe is as easy as it gets because it involves combining water and two eggs.
1. Put the eggs into a saucepan that is filled with at least one inch of cold water.
2. Cover the pan and bring it to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, immediately remove the pan from the heat to stop the boiling.
3. Let the eggs stand in the water for 12 minutes.
4. Drain the sitting water but run cold water over the eggs until they are cool.
5. Peel the eggs, mash them up, and serve to your hungry baby.
Scrambled Eggs in the Microwave
Another easy way to make tasty eggs for babies is to scramble them and heat them in the microwave.
1. Break the egg into a microwave-safe bowl.
2. Beat the eggs with a fork.
3. Heat the eggs in the microwave in 15-second increments until they are cooked through.
4. As you let them cool, cut them up into tiny pieces and serve.
Other Ways To Serve Eggs
If you want to continue to entice your baby to eat eggs or you want to keep your child excited for eggs over time, then there are many other ways to prepare them. You can cook them into little omelets, cook the eggs into pancakes, make them into muffins, or you can fry them and create a unique texture. Feel free to experiment with your own recipe. Just be sure that the additional ingredients that you add are safe for the baby.
Can My Baby Have Eggs From Other Birds?
Some families may have egg-laying birds that are not chickens. If this is you, you might be wondering if you can prepare these eggs for your baby. The answer is yes! Your baby can also have duck and quail eggs.
Duck eggs are an excellent source of iron and some zinc, both essential nutrients for your baby to thrive. Quail eggs are also an excellent source of nutrients, and are a great way to support your baby's immune system. However, you'll want to wait until your baby is closer to one year old before you introduce them to quail eggs.
As always, if you have any questions about feeding eggs of any kind to your child, you should consult their pediatrician.
As you can see, it is relatively easy to introduce eggs to your baby. However, you must ensure that your child is able to sit up properly and that they are not allergic. If you are concerned at all, then speak to your pediatrician. If all goes well, then your child is sure to continue to love the taste of eggs until they grow into adulthood.