Eggs aren't just delicious. They're also extremely nutritious, an excellent source of protein and provide essential nutrients. Find out why you should include eggs as part of your diet and learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle from our nutrition experts.
Eggs and Your Baby
When can you add eggs to your baby’s diet?
According to Health Canada Guidelines foods rich in iron, such as whole eggs, can be incorporated into your baby’s diet starting at 6 months—the same time as meat purées and other meat alternatives. Iron-rich foods are essential to the the nutritional and growth development for this age group.
Why eggs are an important part of your baby’s diet:
- Eggs are a nutritious source of protein, fat, vitamins A, D, E and B12, iron, folate and choline.
- Eggs have a protein quality that is second only to breast milk.
- Eggs are easy to chew and digest.
- Eggs have a delicate taste that most children enjoy.
- Eggs are versatile and economical.
You can start by gradually adding cooked eggs to your baby’s diet with these simple tips:
- Hard-cook a whole egg and mash it.*
- Mix about 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) with a little breast milk, infant formula or water.
- Don't add any salt, sugar, butter or margarine to the egg yolk.
- Let your baby enjoy the natural flavours of single foods.
*Remember to always ensure that your baby’s eggs are properly cooked to avoid food-borne illnesses, as babies immune systems are still continuing to develop at this stage of life.
For more information visit Health Canada.
Recipes for your baby
Here are few simple recipes to get your baby started on eggs:
Fill saucepan with about 3 inches (8 cm) of water. Heat until water simmers gently. Break cold egg into small dish or saucer. Holding the dish just above simmering water, gently slip egg into water. Repeat for remaining eggs. Cook in barely simmering water until white is set and yolk is hard cooked, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove eggs with slotted spoon and drain well.
Place cold eggs in a single layer in a saucepan. Cover with at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) cold water over top of the eggs. Cover saucepan and bring quickly to a boil over a high heat. Immediately remove pan from heat to stop boiling. Let eggs stand in water for 18 to 23 minutes. Drain water and immediately run cold water over eggs until cooled.
In a microwaveable container, whisk an egg with 1 tbsp (15 mL) breast milk, infant formula or water. Cover with plastic wrap leaving a small steam vent. Microwave on Medium-High (70% power) for 1 minute and 30 seconds to 1 minute and 45 seconds, stirring several times during cooking. Cover and let stand for 30 seconds to 1 minute before serving. Eggs will look slightly moist, but will finish cooking upon standing.
Eggs and allergies
Some babies may have an allergy to the protein in egg white. A doctor, preferably an allergist who is a member of the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, is the best person to diagnose the allergy and assess its seriousness. New evidence now indicates that there is no need to delay or avoid potentially allergic foods (such as egg, peanuts, nuts, wheat, cow’s milk and fish) for the prevention of food allergy. This applies to infants with siblings or parents who have allergies to these foods.
Get Smart with Eggs
Children need proper nourishment to give them energy for their growing minds and bodies. That's why it's important to start their day off right with a healthy and nutritious breakfast that is high in protein—like eggs.
Protein keeps kids feeling full for longer, so they can concentrate in the classroom and not on their rumbling stomachs.
Eating a well-balanced breakfast can also increase a child's attention span which can help improve memory, problem-solving skills, school attendance and test scores. It's no wonder that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Think Outside the Cereal Box
Do hectic weekday mornings have you reaching for those brightly coloured boxes in your cupboard? Some sugary cereals contain little protein and up to 16 grams of sugar per serving.
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, contain no sugar and are a great way to start the day. A breakfast of 2 eggs and 1 slice of whole-grain toast provides 15 grams of protein and only 3 grams of sugar (from the toast), helping your child stay mentally alert. Think outside the box and give your child a smart start with a healthy breakfast.
* average of 16 g of sugar per 1 serving of raisin bran cereal
** average of 10 g of sugar per 1 serving of honey nut cereal
*** average of 3 g of sugar per 1 slice of whole-grain toast
Did you know?
A serving of some cereals contains the same amount of sugar as you would find in a GLAZED DONUT?