Eggs are a truly amazing source of protein and even calcium. One whole egg, white & yolk, contains 26 mg of calcium and 6 grams of protein. The little egg is big on nutrition. For babies and toddlers, eggs can be a fast and simple way to pack in some calcium and protein. Eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways and make wonderful finger foods for babies.
What about eggs being one of the top 10 most highly allergenic foods? It is true that the egg is in the top 10 list of allergenic foods but recommendations for introducing allergenic foods to babies has changed over the past few years. It used to be that eggs were not to be introduced to babies until a baby reached the age of 12 months or even 2 years old. Recent studies done between 2008 and the present have shown that waiting to introduce allergenic foods does not make much of a difference in preventing food allergies. (AAP Report)
A study completed in 2010 from University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute looked at the diets of 2,500 one-year-old children and found that “infants given egg after 12 months of age are up to five times more likely to develop allergies compared to those who are introduced to eggs at four to six months, depending on how the egg is cooked.” You see, the protein that is responsible for causing the allergic reaction is <partially> destroyed or rendered ineffective when an egg is cooked. Cooking neutralizes many different “allergenic” proteins in different foods.
So if your baby is at least 6 (six) months of age and your family has no known history of food or egg allergies, then speak to your pediatrician about introducing eggs. Once you are cleared to offer your baby eggs, rejoice in the variety of ways you can serve them.
Poaching an egg is a quick and simple way to prepare an egg that many of us never think about doing. When I poach an egg, I admit I do it in a rather messy fashion that tends to yield a less than pretty egg. However we all know that beauty in the outside does not guarantee beauty on the inside 🙂