Diet is important throughout all of our lives but is especially crucial in the early stages of our development as infants. Once they are ready to start moving onto solids, babies need nutrient-rich food to help them grow, develop and be healthy. As a highly nutritious and natural food, eggs can play an important part in the diet of babies during weaning and beyond.
Eggs and weaning
Current advice from Public Health England is to start weaning babies onto a more solid diet from about six months of age. As part of this it’s suggested that new foods be introduced one at a time so that any potential allergies or aversions can be spotted.
Eggs are an ideal food to introduce during this period because they are soft and can be broken down, making them easier to eat and swallow. From a nutritional perspective, bringing them to the table early on provides a good source of high quality protein, vitamins such as vitamin D and B12, minerals including iodine and selenium as well as helping to acclimatise your baby to eggs as a food item.
Runny eggs and babies
In the past there has been debate around whether or not runny eggs are safe to eat by pregnant women and babies because of the risk of salmonella. This risk has been effectively eliminated since the introduction of the British Lion Scheme in 1998 and the Food Standards Agency has recently updated its advice, confirming that eggs with the Lion mark can safely be eaten runny by pregnant women and babies.
Eggs and allergy
A small number of babies can be allergic to eggs, although many will outgrow this as time goes by. Emerging research suggests that mothers can limit the possibility of this allergy by introducing eggs early on during weaning. When weaning, start with a small amount of cooked egg and if no effects are apparent continue to phase in increased levels into mealtimes.
Visit our sister site, Egg Info for more detailed advice for mums and babies.