Healthy Reasons to Include Eggs in your Family Meals
If eggs aren’t part of your family meal plan, it’s time to reconsider! Eggs are packed with wholesome nutrition that offers health benefits for the whole family. Getting family dinners on the table and school lunches out the door becomes easier (not to mention more nutritious!) with eggs.
Nutritional benefits of eggs for children
There’s good reason to feed your family eggs. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, which is an essential nutrient for children’s growth and development. Protein can help keep children feeling full, sustaining their energy levels and allowing them to focus and concentrate longer. Protein also provides the building blocks for the growth and repair of the cells in muscles, organs, skin, and nails. To learn about the protein requirements for children, check out Registered Dietitian Sarah Remmer’s blog post on the subject.
While you may know eggs best for their protein, eggs actually provide a range of important nutrients that benefit children, such as vitamins A, D, E, B12, folate and zinc. Eggs provide the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote healthy vision. Early research also suggests that lutein and zeaxanthin may improve cognitive performance in children.
Eggs are also a nutritious food for babies. The newest infant feeding guidelines from Health Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada now recommend introducing whole eggs starting at six months of age, or as soon as your child starts eating solid food. Introducing eggs early into your baby’s diet can help to prevent an egg allergy. Eggs are provide iron, which is a mineral that babies and children need for good health hand development.
Eggs are not only nutritious, but versatile too! For a solution to family meals any time, any style and for any budget, look no further than the egg carton in your fridge.
Simple school lunches
Eggs are easily portable, making them a great staple in school lunches to give your child a much-needed boost of protein throughout the day. This kid-friendly cobb salad is perfect for a nutritionally balanced, easily packable lunch. These simple egg wraps use a thin omelette to hold the filling rather than a tortilla, providing a higher protein twist. Kale and sausage frittata cups can be made ahead of time, and are easily popped into school lunches during busy mornings. For more back to school recipe inspiration, check out our top back-to-school recipes.
Easy after-school snacks
For hungry kids that need after-school sustenance, it doesn’t get easier than keeping hard boiled eggs ready to go in the fridge. Eggs can be hard boiled in batches and kept for up to 7 days in the fridge. Kids can help make boiled egg snack packs by pairing boiled eggs with their favourite fruits, veggies and crackers. If you need a tasty after-school snack that will feed a crowd, try western omelette bites – scramble a couple eggs with some veggies, and place on top of tortilla chips. Top with salsa and grated cheese, and watch as this snack disappears before your eyes once you serve to hungry kids!
Putting a nutritious dinner on the table without breaking the bank can sometimes feel challenging for busy families. Eggs can help! This easy frittata serves four and can be customized with any veggies or meats in your fridge that you want to use up. Egg-topped pizza with kale, cherry tomatoes and feta creates a fun dish to serve at dinner. Using pre-made pizza dough saves time!
Shakshuka dinner is the one-skillet wonder for busy weeknights when you need to get dinner on the table fast. For something new, try Eggs Bhurji, which is a curry-flavoured scrambled egg dish. The spice level can be customized to suit your preference. And when in doubt, breakfast for dinner is always a family favourite! Cook up a simple omelette and serve with whole grain toast and fruit for a nutritionally balanced meal anytime.