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How to Introduce Eggs to Baby - An Early Allergen Introduction Guide

December 28, 2020 3 min read

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 guidelinesthere 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 eczema in 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.

How Often Do I Feed My Baby Eggs?

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 no signs of eczema, introduce allergenic foods like eggs with other solid foods as often as you would like.
  • If your baby has mild to moderate eczema, feed them small amounts of baby-friendly eggs at least three times a week.
  • If your baby is high-risk or has severe eczema, first consult with your pediatrician, and then feed 2g of baby-friendly eggs at least three times per week.

What If My Child Has Egg Allergies? 

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.