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When can babies eat eggs?

 
Eggs are an important nutritious part of a baby’s diet. Yet eggs are one of the most common food allergens amongst young children. Find out when it’s good to start introducing your baby to eggs.
When can babies eat eggs? What age can you introduce eggs to kids?

Eggs are an important nutritious part of a baby’s diet. Yet eggs are one of the most common food allergens amongst young children.

Find out when it’s good to start introducing your baby to eggs.
 

When can babies eat eggs?

 

Research on babies & eating eggs


In the past, based on the fact that many children often tended to be allergic to egg white, doctors used to recommend that babies under 12 months old should be given egg yolks only, with egg whites introduced after their first birthday.

However research carried out at Murdoch Children's Research Institute and the University of Melbourne suggest that it’s now okay to offer the whole egg to babies from 4-6 months old.

Previous advice on eggs has been updated based on the results of a large population-based study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in 2010.

The researchers provided evidence to overturn the idea that whole eggs should not be introduced into the diet of a 6 month old.

They studied 2,600 babies and found that feeding cooked eggs to 4-6 month olds did not increase the risk of egg allergy.

In fact, their findings suggest that the early introduction of highly allergenic foods can actually prevent allergies from occurring in the future.
 

Allergies to eggs


Eggs are an important part of a baby’s diet and a nutritious source of protein, fat, Vitamins A, D, E and B12, folate and a source of choline, which plays an important role in their brain development.

Yet eggs are one of the most common food allergens amongst young children.

The egg white rather than the egg yolk is more likely to trigger an allergic reaction and in some cases a severe allergic reaction. It is very rare for anyone to be allergic to the egg yolk.

The egg whites on the other hand contain 4 proteins that can range from mildly to highly allergenic.

With the risk of a potential allergic reaction, it is strongly recommended that you discuss introducing eggs to your baby with your doctor.

This is especially relevant if there is a family history of allergies or if your baby has signs of other food or seasonal allergies such as hay fever, eczema or asthma.

It's common for kids to have bad reactions to eggs the first time they try them, but these are more likely to be food sensitivities or food intolerances than actual allergies. If this happens, steer clear of eggs for now and try again in a couple of months.

A true egg allergy will have symptoms like hives, flushing, swelling, wheezing and an increased heart rate. If your child experiences any of these symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately.

When you serve eggs to babies you need to ensure that they are thoroughly cooked. Under-cooked or raw eggs may contain salmonella bacteria, a source of food poisoning.

Try to avoid feeding your baby foods that contain raw eggs too such as mousse, home-made ice cream or mayonnaise.

And remember that even if your child does have an egg allergy now, it doesn't mean they always will. In fact, most kids with egg allergies outgrow them by 5 years old.

More kids food articles to enjoy:

Research: Murdoch Children's Research Institute & the University of Melbourne 2010. Image source: notonthehighstreet.com

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