Learn why eggs are such an amazing first food for babies (especially baby led weaning), how to serve them, and recipe ideas that are adult and baby-friendly!
If you've been around a while, you know I love eggs. But I also adore serving them to my kids. And I especially love them as a first food for babies! There are so many reasons why I think eggs should be a first food for all babies, and I recommend them from pregnancy and lactation all the way through adulthood.
Why Eggs Are A Great First Food For Babies
Critical Nutrients In Eggs
Eggs are such a nutritional powerhouse. They're even called out as a specific first food in the 0-2 years recommendations by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that will release official guidelines later this year. Eggs are a great source of protein, and they contain essential nutrients like B vitamins (B12, biotin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid), vitamin D, selenium and iodine, which as all important for supporting baby's growth and development. Where eggs really shine is choline. Choline is an essential nutrient for brain development that most Americans (about 90%!) are lacking. Eggs are one of the best food sources of choline, so it's important to include them frequently for both pregnant and nursing moms as well as babies and kids.
(PS - If you're worried about the cholesterol in eggs, don't be. Research shows that dietary cholesterol doesn't really have an effect on blood cholesterol, and eating one egg per day has no adverse effect on heart disease risk.)
Another reason eggs are highly recommended for babies is that they are a potential allergen. The research now shows that introducing allergens early and often may help reduce the risk of developing food allergies. That means we should include eggs (and other allergens) as frequently as possible as soon as babies are developmentally ready for solids (around 4-6 months).
Ease and Versatility
As a mama of two tiny ones, I know that we could all use EASY meals that are also nutritious. Eggs are always a go-to for me because they are so darn easy to make. And they are so versatile. Whether scrambled, fried, as a frittata, or on top of a hash, eggs are appropriate for any meal of the day!
Eggs are such an affordable source of high quality, easily absorbed protein. For those that have tight budgets, eggs con be a much more cost effective source of protein than meat. Also, don't worry if you can't buy free range or organic eggs. Regular eggs are just as nutritious.
How To Serve Eggs to Babies with Baby Led Weaning
As always, make sure the food you're offering to baby is an appropriate shape and texture. That means it can be mashed between your thumb and forefinger (mimicking baby's gums) and it is approximately the size and shape of your finger so it's easy to pick up. Eggs are naturally a great texture for baby led weaning, which I love! A few easy ways to serve eggs to baby include:
- Scrambled and cut into finger-sized strips
- Hard boiled and cut vertically into fourths
- Fried and cut into finger-sized strips
- As an omelet with cheese and/or finely chopped and soft-cooked veggies, cut into strips
- French toast, cut into finger-sized strips
- Baked into egg muffins or breakfast casserole
- Egg salad mashed onto toast fingers or in a pre-loaded spoon
- Stirred into hot oatmeal (gently heat after stirring in if needed)
Baby Led Weaning-Friendly Egg Recipes
- Mushroom Spinach Egg Muffins
- Veggie Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole
- Mexican Breakfast Casserole
- Red Pepper and Kale Frittata
- Broccoli Cheddar Egg Muffins
- Smoked Salmon Kale Frittata
- Mushroom Artichoke Strata
- Italian Sausage Tomato Frittata
- Veggie Quinoa Egg Muffins