Exciting, if you have ended up here you must have a little one starting their solids journey, which has got you thinking about eggs for baby, when can they have them?, are they safe for my baby? How do I cook them?
I'll take you through the current guidelines and evidence to give you the confidence to introduce eggs to your little one.
Introducing eggs to baby
Parents can be worried about introducing eggs to their baby as egg allergy is one of the most common infant food allergies. Global data suggest 0.5-2.5% of young children will have an egg allergy (Tan 2013).
However, the current advice is that the introduction of egg should not be delayed as delaying the introduction has actually been shown to increase the chance of developing food allergy (ASCIA).
The current recommendation is to introduce egg by 12 months, and to continue to give egg regularly (twice a week) to your young child. ASCIA (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy) have a great information sheet on this for parents (Introducing Solid Foods- ASCIA resource)
I am based in New Zealand which is why I refer to the ASCIA food allergy guidelines as these are the guidelines used across Australia and New Zealand. However these guidelines are similar to others around the world, which also reccomend not delaying the introduction of egg to your babies diet.
I will link them below so you can read up on your own countries guidelines.
- When, what and how to introduce solid foods: CDC - America
- Food allergies in babies and young children: NHS - UK
However if f you are ever in doubt check with your health care professional before giving egg to your baby.
How to introduce egg to your baby
Eggs are one of the common allergy foods, the others include: peanut, cow’s milk (dairy), tree nuts (such as cashew or almond paste), soy, sesame, wheat, fish, and other seafood.
Introducing any of the common allergy foods should be done one at a time, this is so that if there is an allergic reaction the problem food can be easily identified.
I will explain this a little further. On your baby's journey to eating solids you might first expose them to egg, you would do this for a few days and if you see no allergic reactions you would move on to add another of the common allergy foods to their diet.
If you did see an allergic reaction you should stop giving your child egg and seek medical advice.
If your baby shows no allergic reaction to the introduction of eg,g continue, to give the egg to your baby regularly, as part of a varied diet. There is some evidence that trying a food once and then not having it in the diet regularly could increase the risk of a food allergy developing.
Introducing the common allergy foods like this makes for a much simpler journey than if you had given your baby a mixed food such as a muffin as one of their first foods, if your baby had an allergic reaction you would not be able to easily determine the problem ingredient, (egg, dairy, wheat are all common ingredients in muffins).
How to prepare egg for your baby
The egg should be well cooked. One of the simplest ways to introduce eggs to baby is to hard boil an egg, peel and then mash the egg with a little breast milk, formula or water. This can be spoon-fed to baby or spread on a finger food baby is safely managing such as toast fingers.
This is of course only one way to prepare eggs, below I've put together a collection of egg recipes that are great for babies and toddlers.
The current advice from ASCIA and other professional bodies around the world is that babies can be introduced to eggs from an age that they can safely start solids and they should be introduced to eggs before the age of 12 months.
A simple way to introduce eggs to baby is to hard boil an egg, peel, and then mash the egg with a little milk, breast milk, or formula. This can be spoon-fed to the baby or spread on a finger food baby is safely managing such as toast fingers.