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 whites most commonly hold the proteins that children can develop allergies to, sensitivities 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%.
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:
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:
Is your baby ready for their first taste? Here are three of our favorite ways to introduce eggs for the first time:
Depending on a babies risk of developing allergies, there are different guidelines to follow according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
If your baby has a food allergy, you will know right away. Signs of an egg allergy may 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 report that 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.