It is very convenient to heat up breast milk straight from the fridge and serve it to a starving baby.But,there comes a point when a milk-only diet will not sustain your growing infant.
Eggs can be a great supplement for breast milk.After all,they are rich in protein and a good source of healthy fats,zinc,iron,calcium,folate,choline,riboflavin,vitamin D,as well as vitamin B12.
So,when can a baby eat eggs for the first time? And,are eggs safe for infants? Many of my readers have posed these questions,so I decided to whip up the following comprehensive guide.
Why Should You Worry About Feeding Your Baby Eggs?
A study published in the Pediatric Clinics of North America reported that eggs are one of the most common allergy-causing foods,only coming second to cow’s milk.It also stated that egg allergies affect up to 2.5 percent of children.So,it’s easy to see why parents are concerned about feeding their babies eggs.A whole egg contains different kinds of protein.There are about four varieties found in the egg whites.Nutritionists have found that proteins in egg whites are more likely to trigger an allergic reaction that those found in the yolk.
How to Know if Your Baby has Egg Allergy ?
Whether or not your child will be allergic to eggs can be a hereditary issue.Parents can pass down food allergies to their offspring.So,if someone in the family is allergic to eggs,your baby is likely to react badly to this food.
If you suspect your baby will be allergic to eggs,talk to a pediatrician.Your doctor can refer you to an allergist who will perform a conclusive test.That said,it is still important to know the symptoms of an egg allergy even if your child is not genetically predisposed.
You will know your baby has an allergy if he or she starts to throw-up,cough,wheeze,or develop a skin rash after eating eggs.Fainting,flushing or slow heartbeat can manifest in more severe cases.These are signs of an anaphylactic shock,which is life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention.
Many children outgrow food allergies by the time they reach ages 5 to 16.So,your child is likely to tolerate eggs eventually especially if consumed in small doses over time.In the meantime,you should avoid feedin your baby large amounts of eggs that can trigger a full-blown allergic reaction.
Be on the lookout for foods that contain eggs as an ingredient.These can include cakes ,cookies,meatloaf,and other baked pastries.Make sure to read the label on processed foods and avoid any products that contain egg extracts.
When to Introduce Baby to Eggs ?
If your child is not genetically predisposed to an egg allergy,it is safe to introduce this food into the diet.Options on the right timing to start doing that have changed over time.
Initially,the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended waiting until a child’s second birthday before serving eggs for the first time.However,emerging research suggests that withholding eggs in attempts to reduce the occurrence of an allergy actually does the opposite.
In 2010 the University of Melbourne and the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute did a joint study by analyzing the diets of 2,500 infants.The researchers found that infants who started eating eggs as early as four to six months often didn’t develop an allergy.
The findings suggested that egg allergies were up to five times more common among children who started eating eggs at 12-months.As a result,many experts nowadays recommend introducing eggs as soon as your child starts to eat solid foods.
Eggs are generally now considered a safe first food when introducing babies to solids.But,it is important to speak with your pediatrician before introducing this food to your baby if egg allergies run in the family.Your doctor can advise you on your child’s nutritional needs and suggest alternative protein sources.
If egg allergies are not a hereditary concern,make sure to introduce eggs to your child’s diet the correct way.
Some helpful tips to follow include:
- Avoid introducing new foods to your baby’s diet for up to four days when serving eggs.
- Cook the eggs thoroughly.
- Add milk to the scrambled or boiled eggs if your baby is still on a mostly liquid diet.
- Don’t feed your child any foods containing uncooked eggs like mayonnaise,ice cream,and mousse.
- Serve the right portion three times a week(begin with one third per serving and increase to half an egg at 8-12 months)
So,that sums up everything you need to know about when can a baby eat eggs and how to introduce this great source of protein into the diet.Follow the tips shared above to identify an egg allergy accurately and avoid the risk of food poisoning due to salmonella bacteria found in raw eggs.If you have any thoughts,suggestions or question,please feel free to leave a comment below.
Author Bio: babyrollover.com are the team of young,child-loving parents .We love to explore our views on subjects relating to parenting, woman, families.