Doctors advise whole eggs and egg yolks as first foods, which can be introduced once the baby is six months. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), delaying the introduction of common allergic foods such as eggs will not prevent children from getting atopic diseases. Some pediatricians suggest the parents to wait until eight or even 12 months to introduce egg white as it is not easily digestible. You may wait until the baby turns one year, if your family has a history of food allergies.
However, AAP says: “Although solid foods should not be introduced before four to six months of age, there is no current convincing evidence that delaying their introduction beyond this period has a significant protective effect on the development of atopic disease.
“This includes delaying the introduction of foods that are considered to be highly allergic, such as eggs.”
After you feed egg to your baby for the first time, do look out for symptoms of allergies, such as skin hives, diarrhea, runny nose, respiratory problems and more. Egg contains cholesterol, proteins, fat, and other nutrients such as iron, zinc, copper, selenium, calcium, fatty acids, vitamins D, B12, E, choline and folate (2). Eggs have 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 ways:
- Digestion and immunity
Eggs, especially yolks, are easy to chew and digest. Minerals such as zinc, iron, and selenium boost immunity. Folate helps in the production and maintenance of new cells in the body. Egg white is rich in proteins, and potassium aids in the effective functioning of cells and organs.
Egg whites support your baby’s body in maintaining the levels of potassium and sodium, and membrane potentials. Glycoprotein in egg white binds to biotin and makes it absorbable by the digestive tract.
- Brain development
The cholesterol and choline present in egg yolk contribute to brain development. Whereas cholesterol increases bile acid formation for digestion of fats and produces several hormones, choline helps in better neurological functioning and reduced inflammation. Choline also helps in regulating the cardiovascular system.
- Bone development and energy
Fat-soluble vitamins in eggs, such as vitamins D, A, E, and K, aid in the development of strong and sturdy bone structure. Proteins provide vital energy. Riboflavin in egg white helps in releasing energy from carbohydrates and thus, aids in metabolism and red blood cell production.
- Heart health
According to a recent study (3), eating eggs does not increase the chances of coronary artery disease (CAD). In fact, regular egg consumption prevents stroke, blood clots, and heart attacks. Phospholipids present in the egg yolk help to maintain the cholesterol and inflammation levels, besides vascular function.
- Eye health
Egg yolks are rich in antioxidants. The antioxidant lutein plays a vital role in protecting eyes from harmful lights. Lutein and zeaxanthin, present in egg yolk, protect your baby against vision loss in future.
- Liver function
Eggs are rich in sulfur that aids in the absorption of vitamin B12 and proper liver functioning. Sulfur also aids in the production of keratin and collagen, which are useful in hair growth.