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Eggs For Babies: Right Age To Have, Possible Risks And Recipes

Eggs For Baby

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One egg contains 13 essential vitamins and high-quality protein that support the growth and development of babies (1). However, egg allergy is one of the most common allergies due to which inclusion of this food in the baby’s diet is a decision of speculation for parents (2).

In this post, MomJunction tells you about the right age to start giving eggs for babies, the health benefits, possible risks such as allergies, and much more.

When Can Babies Eat Eggs?

In the past, pediatricians recommended egg only after the baby turned one to avoid any possible risk of allergy. But the revised recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggest that you may include eggs as soon as the baby starts eating solids.

This is crucial as there is no evidence to suggest that waiting to introduce baby-safe, allergy-causing foods, such as eggs, beyond four to six months of age could prevent food allergy (3). It could also be selected as one of the first foods for baby provided you stay alert about the possible allergic reactions that egg consumption might trigger.

AAP further states that the introduction of cooked eggs at four to six months of age might protect against egg allergy, irrespective of family, or personal history of allergy (4).

Possible Risks Of Egg For Babies

The possible allergic reactions, which could be severe, are believed to be triggered by proteins found in the egg white. Though rare, egg yolk can trigger an allergy too (2). Studies show that by the age of 16, children usually outgrow egg allergies.

Watch for signs of allergy whenever you introduce egg. If anyone in your family is allergic to egg, consult a pediatrician before including egg in your baby’s diet. Also, if your baby has eczema, exercise caution while giving them eggs, as there is a relation between this skin condition and food allergies.

Signs Of Egg Allergy Or Sensitivity

Symptoms of egg allergy could range from mild allergic reactions to anaphylaxis. The common symptoms that you should check in case of an egg allergy are (2):

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps
  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Wheezing
  • Repetitive cough
  • Tightness in throat, hoarse voice
  • Hives

A more severe allergy could show the following symptoms and warrant an emergency medical intervention.

  • Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Pale or blue coloring of the skin
  • Swelling, can affect the tongue and/or lips
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion

The extent of severity of the allergy depends on the baby’s immune system, and a severe form of an allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis is seldom seen in babies.

Nutritional Value Of Egg

Below is the nutritional value of a whole, raw egg.

NameAmount
Protein12.56g
Total lipid (fat)9.51g
Calcium, Ca56mg
Iron, Fe1.75mg
Zinc, Zn1.29mg
Selenium, Se30.7µg
Folate, total47µg
Choline, total293.8mg
Vitamin A, RAE160µg
Lutein + zeaxanthin503µg
Cholesterol372mg

Source: USFDA (5)

Benefits Of Eggs For Babies

Egg contains proteins, fat, and other nutrients such as iron, zinc, copper, selenium, calcium, fatty acids, vitamins D, B12, E, choline, and folate (5). Eggs have the second highest-quality protein found in any food, the first being human milk that has lactalbumin protein.

Here is how eggs can benefit your baby in more than one way:

  1. Eggs contain high-quality proteins that support the growth and development of babies (6).
  1. Minerals such as zinc, iron, calcium, magnesium, and selenium found in the egg aids in boosting immunity and maintaining many body functions such as overall growth by cell production and metabolism (7) (8).
  1. The cholesterol and choline present in egg yolk contribute to brain development and hormone production (1).
  1. Fat-soluble vitamins in eggs, such as vitamins D, A, E, and K, aid in the development of the strong and sturdy bone structure, metabolism, and red blood cell production (1).
  1. Egg yolks are rich in antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which support eye functioning and vision at large (1).

Trivia: Egg whites contain more than half (four of the six grams) of an egg’s protein. They are low in calories and free of carbohydrates and fats. However, both the egg white and yolk are highly nutritious.

How To Introduce Eggs To Babies?

Introduce one food at a time. This would help watch probable reactions that a food could cause. So follow a three to five-day wait rule (9). If you notice any allergic reaction or sensitivity during these days, contact your baby’s pediatrician or an allergist.

However, to prevent allergic reactions to egg, you can try one trick. Introduce egg yolk before egg white, as egg yolks are considered to be less allergenic than egg whites. You can do so in the following ways:

  • To start simple, take the yolk out from a hard-boiled egg. Add breast milk or formula milk to it and mix everything. Serve it to your baby as egg yolk puree.
  • Another way is egg yolk omelet. To prepare, separate the yolk from a raw egg, beat it well. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan with some oil. Spread the beaten yolk on the pan and cook from both sides until golden brown. With the same recipe, you can make a scrambled egg as well.
  • Once your baby looks comfortable with egg yolk, you can try adding it with other pureed fruits and vegetables. This could help you prepare sumptuous egg soups with vegetables.
  • You can also try adding an egg yolk to cereals, grains, and other food items to make recipes such as egg and oats pancake or egg rice (mashed), etc.

As your baby turns one, you can consult your pediatrician and try more egg recipes such as waffles, pastries, and other baked items that include more egg whites. Also, you can try serving finger foods such as hard-boiled egg wedges and egg sandwiches to your baby.

Note: Do not feed infants raw or partially cooked eggs or food items that contain them, such as homemade ice cream or mayonnaise (10).

Below are some delicious egg recipes for babies. Try them out!

Simple Egg Recipes For Babies

They are easy to make and tasty to eat.

1. Hard-Boiled Egg Yolk Mash

Hard-Boiled Egg Yolk Mash

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 5min

You will need:

  • 1 egg boiled

How to:

  1. Peel the shell and cut the egg in half. Pop-out the yolk and mash well.
  2. Mix it with breast milk, formula, applesauce, yogurt to make egg puree.

Foods good to mix with eggs are peas, pears, apples, sweet potato, carrots, cauliflower, rice, lentils, barley, etc.

2. Scrambled Eggs

Scrambled Eggs

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 10min

You will need:

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 1tsp butter or oil
  • Grated cheese (optional)

How to:

  1. Beat an egg with half tablespoon milk.
  2. Heat a pan with a little oil or butter.
  3. Pour in the beaten egg and let it sit for a few seconds.
  4. Stir this mixture gently, add salt and a little pepper to the cooked egg.
  5. Transfer it to a plate when the egg is set but soft.
  6. Do not overcook eggs as they become hard and unappetizing.
  7. You can also add some grated cheese for added flavor.

Note: If you want to add cheese, ensure that you select cheese suitable for your baby’s age.

3. Omelet

omlet

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 5 min

You will need:

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • Pepper
  • 1tsp butter or oil

How to:

  1. Whisk an egg with some milk, salt, and a little pepper until the yolk and white are thoroughly mixed.
  2. Heat butter or oil and gently pour in the egg mixture. Cook until the omelet is set.
  3. Make sure that the omelet doesn’t burn.
  4. When serving toddlers, you can add stir-fry spinach or stir fry vegetables to make a vegetable omelet.

4. Spanish Omelet

Spanish Omelet

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 10min

You will need:

  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup potatoes or tomatoes or bell peppers (chopped)
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • Salt

How to:

  1. Cook bite-sized pieces of potatoes in olive oil.
  2. Once cooked, remove the potatoes and add them to a mixture of eggs, milk, and salt.
  3. Cook this mixture as you would cook any omelet. You can also substitute potatoes with tomatoes or bell peppers.
  4. Cook the egg mixture in a ring for a tortilla-like effect.

5. Egg Sandwich (8-9 months)

Egg Sandwich

Image: iStock

Preparation time: 15 min

You will need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 brown bread slice
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter fruit (avocados)

How to:

  1. Beat an egg yolk with some salt and butter until it is creamy and add it as a filling between bite-sized pieces of brown bread.
  2. You can also add mashed butter fruit along with the egg yolk mixture for toddlers.
  3. Whole grain bread is ideal for making sandwiches.

6. Egg Dosa

Egg Dosa

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 5 min

You will need:

  • 1 egg
  • Dosa batter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1tbsp oil

How to:

  1. To make an egg dosa, crack an egg on a dosa just after you spread the batter.
  2. Flip it and cook both sides of the dosa.
  3. Season it with some salt and pepper.

Note: Do not spread the dosa batter too thin.

7. Egg Custard

Egg Custard

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 35 min

You will need:

  • 2 cup whole milk
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp multigrain flour
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 5tbsp brown sugar (optional)

How to:

  1. Take a saucepan, turn on the flame, pour in the milk and vanilla extract. Cook below the boiling point.
  2. To another bowl, add corn flour, egg yolks, and sugar, and whisk well.
  3. Slowly transfer the mixture into the egg yolks by whisking constantly.
  4. Cook the mixture in the saucepan on low-medium flame. Keep stirring to make sure that the custard does not stick to the bottom. Turn off as the custard thickens.
  5. Serve it immediately or refrigerate.

8. Ghee Rice and Boiled Egg Yolk for Babies

Preparation time: 5 min

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup rice (cooked)
  • 1tsp ghee
  • Salt for taste
  • Pepper (pinch)
  • 1 egg yolk (boiled)

How to:

Mash cooked rice in a bowl and add a spoon full of ghee, pepper, and salt. Mix and mash, it well. Serve with egg yolk.

9. Egg Pudding

Egg Pudding

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 15 min

You will need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 drops vanilla essence
  • A pinch of cinnamon

How to:

  1. Beat the egg in a bowl, add milk and whisk.
  2. Add cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well and transfer it to a heatproof bowl and steam.
  3. Pressure cook up to two whistles by adding enough water.

10. Steamed Egg

Steamed Egg

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 35 min

You will need:

  • 2 eggs
  • 6 halved eggshells of boiled water
  • Sesame oil (for taste)

How to:

  1. Beat eggs and add cooled boiled water in 1:1.5 ratio and mix well.
  2. Run the mixture through a sieve into a dish that is steam-proof.
  3. Set up a rack with water in a wok and bring it to a boil.
  4. Put the dish with beaten eggs on the rack. Cover the lid.
  5. Lower the flame and steam for 15 minutes. Take out the steamed eggs and top with a dash sesame oil.

11. Veggie Egg Rice

Veggie Egg Rice

Image: Shutterstock

Preparation time: 10 min

You will need:

  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup soft-cooked veggies like carrots, broccoli, spinach, peas, capsicum, and sweet potato
  • Oil (for frying)

How to:

  1. Cook brown rice and keep it aside.
  2. In another pan, heat oil. Put all the vegetables in the oil and fry them till tender.
  3. Once the vegetables are cooked, mix all the ingredients well and mash them to get a soft semi-puree texture.

Aren’t our recipes tempting enough for you to try immediately?

Eggs are nutritious and could enhance the overall nutritional value of your baby’s diet. But since they are among the common foods that cause allergies, it is wise to consult a pediatrician before you plan to introduce it to your baby. And when you introduce it to your baby for the first time, watch for possible signs of allergy. If you notice any signs, consult an allergist promptly.

What is your way of serving an egg to a baby? Let us know in the comments section below.

References:

1. Nutrients in Eggs; Egg Nutrition Center
2. Egg Allergy; American College of Allergy, Asthma And Immunology (2019)
3. Starting Solid Foods; Healthy Children; American Academy of Pediatrics
4. Can Early Introduction of Egg Prevent Egg Allergy in Infants? A Population-Based Study; American Academy of Pediatrics (2011)
5. Egg, whole, raw; 339003; Food Data Central; USDA
6. Yanni Papanikolaou and Victor L. Fulgoni; Egg Consumption in Infants is Associated with Longer Recumbent Length and Greater Intake of Several Nutrients Essential in Growth and Development; National Center For Biotechnology Information (2018)
7. Eggs – what do they contain?; Nutrition Foundation, New Zealand
8. Ian Darnton-Hill; Zinc supplementation and growth in children; World Health Organization
9. When, What, and How to Introduce Solid Foods; Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (2019)
10. Complementary Foods; WIC Works Resource System, U.S Department of Agriculture

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