Eggs have impressive nutritional qualities for developing children, but they are also one of the most common food allergies in babies and toddlers - affecting about 2%of young children. Though egg whitesmost commonly hold the proteins that children can develop allergies to, insensitivities or intolerances can be triggered from either, or both, parts of the egg.
According to the current feeding guidelines, there is no reason to avoid eggs, both yolk and whites, once your baby is ready to begin solid food, typically between 4 months and 6 months of age.
In fact, early introduction of eggs into your baby’s diet can have amazing developmental benefits and decrease their risk of developing this allergy by up to 80%.
When to Introduce Eggs to Baby
Current guidelines don’t include waiting to introduce eggs to your baby until they are older. In fact, the critical window for smart, multi-allergen introduction is within the first year.
In a 2010 study, researchers determined from a study of nearly 2,600 infants that those who were introduced to eggs early, between 4-6 months, were much less likely to develop an egg allergy than babies exposed to eggs after their first birthday.
Once your child has reached 4-6 months old, they generally will be ready to try their first foods. Since all babies develop at different rates, here are some signs your baby may be ready to start trying solid foods:
They are able to sit up without support and maintain great head control when sitting
Loss of the tongue-thrust reflex so that they don’t automatically push food out of their mouth
Follows food with their eyes and shows eagerness and interest
Opens their mouth wide when you offer food on a spoon
Early introduction of eggs also has many developmental benefits. A nutrient-dense food that packs a lot of nourishment into every bite, eggs contain healthy fats, cholesterol, vitamins and minerals that are excellent for brain growth and development.
How to Introduce Eggs to Babies
We know introducing new foods to your little one can be scary. Here are some tips for introducing eggs to your baby for the first time:
Aim to introduce eggs to your baby starting around 4-6 months old.
Before their first taste, make sure your child is healthy before feeding them any egg. With no other symptoms, you will be able to accurately measure your child’s response to these food products.
Check with your pediatrician to make sure your baby isn’t at a higher risk of developing food allergies. Babies with severe eczemain the form of dry, itchy skin and rashes, or who have already developed other food allergies, are considered high risk.
As with all new food introductions, make sure your baby's first bite of egg is in the comfort of your own home.
Is your baby ready for their first taste? Here are three of our favorite ways to introduce eggs for the first time:
Homemade Recipes - Cooked eggs in a variety of forms are perfect for your baby to try. Boiled, poached, baked, or scrambled, your baby’s first introduction to egg can meet your family preferences. Once cooked, you can also mash it into a smooth puree or thin it with formula or breastmilk. The only requirement is that the egg be completely cooked through. Raw egg can cause illness.
Early Allergen Introduction Powder - Food allergen introduction powder, like SpoonfulONE Mix-ins, is an easy, hassle-free way to introduce your children to eggs and other allergenic foods. These powders can easily be mixed into breastmilk or formula and bottle-fed, or even mixed into purees, applesauce, or oatmeal.
Early Allergen Puffs - As your child ages, you can transition from allergen powders to more solid puffs. Puffs are a nutritious baby snack designed to easily dissolve with saliva and are the perfect finger foods for growing infants. Puffs are recommended for babies at least 6+ months or older. SpoonfulONE Puffs come in Strawberry and Banana flavors. If you are wanting to add more savory flavors to your little one's growing palate, try Crunchy Puffs, a delicious puff snack with three yummy savory flavors.
If your baby has a food allergy, you will know right away. Signs of an egg allergymay include hives, swelling, vomiting, coughing and wheezing within minutes of eating.
Even if your child has developed an egg allergy, that does not mean that all egg products have to be avoided. Studies reportthat about 70% of egg-allergic children can tolerate baked egg and that incorporating egg into the diet is well tolerated. When eggs are baked and included in recipes, it changes the shape of the allergy-inducing proteins, making your body less likely to identify them as harmful and trigger a reaction.
However, you should not introduce any egg-containing foods without first speaking to your pediatrician.
Why SpoonfulONE’s Mix-ins for Early Allergen Introduction
At SpoonfulONE, it was our mission to create a comprehensive system for parent's to easily introduce diverse foods to their baby. Designed to be given to your baby early, often, and seamlessly, we take the guesswork out of multi-allergen introduction with delicious and nutritious baby snacks.
Safety - We used landmark researchlike LEAP and EAT to inspire our science, but we didn’t stop there. Our founder, Dr. Kari Nadeau, the Director of the Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, invested in and conducted her own proprietary research. This research showed that the diverse mix of ingredients in SpoonfulONE helped increase IgG4(protective antibodies) in children after feeding SpoonfulONE for a year.
Efficiency - The most comprehensive early allergen introduction program, SpoonfulONE includes food groups responsible for over 90% of food allergies. Each packet contains a very small amount of peanuts, milk, shellfish (shrimp), tree nuts (almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, pecans, pistachios, and walnuts), egg, fish (cod and salmon), grains (oats and wheat), soy, and sesame.
Convenience - When you introduce a multi-allergen routine to your infant, the preparation of each ingredient every day can take up a ton of time. SpoonfulONE helps give you your time back. Our system helps eliminate the fear, confusion, and guesswork out of introducing new foods to babies.
Bottle compatibility - If your baby is not regularly eating solids or prefers breastmilk or formula, we developed SpoonfulONE Mix-ins to be compatible with either formula or breast milk.
Although very important, eggs are just one of the 9 food groups associated with over 90% of food allergies. Unlike other products on the market that only cover peanut, milk, or eggs, SpoonfulONE is a comprehensive system that covers all 16 of these essential food groups.
In a study of 450 infants and children, babies who ate a blend of common allergens everyday had higher protective IgG4 antibodies and lower food-specific IgE antibodies, compared to babies who ate only one or two allergens.