When your baby starts to show an interest in food, usually at around six months old, it’s time to start them on their journey of eating a wide variety of healthy foods. As a parent, it’s important that you introduce them to lots of different foods that will aid in their development, and eggs contain lots of essential nutrients.
But knowing how to introduce eggs to a baby can be difficult, especially when it comes to how you should serve them. The good news is that eggs are a staple in many amazing dishes, and some kids will even be excited to eat a hard-boiled egg on its own! The key is to try, try and try again – find out what your baby likes, and be consistent with offering them different types of egg dishes.
This helpful guide will explore the nutritional benefits of eggs and when to give your baby eggs. Me and My Child will also share some recipes – beyond a simple scrambled eggs for baby dish! – helping you feel more confident about knowing when babies can eat eggs.
Can Babies Eat Eggs?
Yes, unless your baby has an egg-related allergy then it’s a good idea to get them started on solids such as eggs from around the age of six months.
Because eggs are a common food allergen among children, it’s important to start your little one on well-cooked eggs and in small amounts. Something small and simple like scrambled eggs for babies can be an easy introduction, for example. Below we’ve included some helpful recipe ideas that you can try with your little one and get them used to eating eggs regularly.
Eggs as a Source of Nutrients
Eggs really are a fantastic natural source of nutrients, as they are packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, good fats and much more. They are also rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, vitamin A and several B vitamins (B12, B2 and B5).
It’s important for your baby to eat a wide diversity of foods when they start eating solids – all things in moderation. The good news is that eggs are one of the most versatile foods and they are in so many different dishes. So even if you have a fussy eater who doesn’t like eating eggs on their own, you can ‘hide’ them in everyday meals and rest easy knowing they are getting healthy nutrients from eggs.
Eggs – especially the yolk – contain both heme and non-heme iron that can help babies in a variety of different ways. Heme iron, in particular, can support healthy blood-cell development – heme iron is in haemoglobin, myoglobin, and heme-containing enzymes.
Not only is iron good for your baby’s blood, but it also helps give them energy and supports a range of developmental functions such as learning to walk and talk.
Protein and Fats
As sources of protein, introducing eggs to your baby means you can boost their development and immune health – especailly at a time when their bodies are undergoing rapid growth. In addition to high amounts of protein, eggs also contain lots of good fats that your baby needs. These essential fats include saturated fat, cholesterol and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, the latter of which improves early brain growth and vision.
There’s a reason why eggs are such a big part of our diet. Not only are they extremely versatile in how you can use them, but they contain so many different nutrients that our bodies need, especially in infancy. These include:
- Vitamin D
How to Prepare Eggs for Your Baby
If you are unsure about introducing eggs to your baby, it’s best to speak to your doctor or dietitian who will be able to advise you on the most appropriate time to start, as well as offer advice on how to deal with fussy eaters. Thankfully, eggs can be cooked in a number of different ways and are easy to hide in lots of tasty meals.
To help get you started introducing eggs into your baby’s diet, here are some useful tips and recipes according to your little one’s age range.
6 Months – 1 Year
As with every solid food your baby tries for the first time, it’s common for them to not be interested or not even try a new food. The same goes for eggs, no matter how you cook them! While some babies might be very receptive and pop some scrambled eggs for baby straight into their mouth, others may need time and patience to start enjoying their eggs.
At this stage, eggs need to be well cooked. This is for safety and allergy-related reasons.
Even though eggs are soft and easy to chew, there is always a risk of choking for young babies who are transitioning to solid foods. Make sure there is always an adult supervising during mealtime, and make sure to only offer your baby very soft egg-based foods during this stage.
13 Months – 2 Years
Once they become more confident eaters and even show an interest in eating eggs, you can start to incorporate eggs into lots of different and more complex meals. If your child is happy eating hard-boiled eggs in easy-to-grab slices, then give them what they want! Otherwise you can incorporate eggs in lots of food, such as eggy bread or this quiche recipe:
Corn and Ham Mini Quiches
8 slices wholegrain or multigrain bread – crusts removed
20g olive oil spread
125g can corn kernels – drained
1/3 cup (35g) reduced fat cheddar cheese – coarsely grated
50g ham slices – finely chopped
1/3 cup grated green capsicum
1/2 cup prepared Alula Gold Toddler Milk Drink
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Use a rolling pin to flatten bread to 5mm thick.
- Spread olive oil on slices and line a muffin tin with the bread, olive oil side down.
- Put equal amounts of the corn, cheese, ham and grated green capsicum evenly among the bread cups.
- Lightly whisk eggs and the prepared Alula GOLD TODDLER formula and pour evenly into each cup.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until just set and lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
Muffin, scones, sandwiches, even pizza! The humble egg goes in so many different foods, and as they become a toddler who is keen to eat lots of food throughout the day, it’s a good idea to keep them eating healthy with snacks and meals that include eggs.
Think about how to introduce eggs to babies and toddlers at breakfast, lunch and dinner time. You don’t necessarily have to give them a plain egg. So try incorporating them in recipes that are also packed with healthy fruits, vegetables or meats. Here’s a delicious snack or dessert that gives your child a serving of egg alongside tasty berries:
Berry Swirl Pikelets
60g fresh ricotta
45g fresh raspberries – pureed
85 ml of prepared Alula Gold Toddler Milk Drink
5 tbsp self raising flour
1 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp baking powder
1 egg beaten
Small amount of oil for light fry
- Place fresh ricotta in a bowl and add pureed raspberries.
- Use a teaspoon to fold the spread into the ricotta to create a swirl effect. Set aside.
- Sift self-raising flour, sugar and baking powder.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the egg and milk drink. Mix into a smooth batter.
- Measure out 1 tablespoon for each pikelet and fry over medium heat until small bubbles begin to appear.
- Turn the pikelet over. Cook until golden brown and puffed. Serve with the ricotta berry mixture.
Benefits of Giving Eggs to Your Baby
Introducing eggs to your baby doesn’t have to be complicated. Yes, it could be a challenge with lots of refusals until they start to enjoy their eggs, but thankfully you can mix eggs into countless different recipes to ensure your little one is getting all their benefits.
Importantly, as egg is one of the most common food allergens in humans, giving them eggs to eat as soon as they start having solid food can reduce the risk of them developing egg intolerance later down the track. Even if they only have eggy toast or scrambled eggs for babies in the early days, know that you are giving your child vital nutrients to keep them happy, healthy and well-fed.