Why Eggs Were My Son’s First Food
As an egg farmer, I recognize the health benefits eggs provide in a well-balanced diet, such as protein, zinc, iron, vitamins A and D, as well as other essential vitamins and minerals that help our bodies and minds function. As a new father, I also recognize how eggs can support the nutritional needs of my growing son.
The 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee has recently recommended eggs as a vital first food for those in the Birth to 24-month life stage, as they are a rich source of choline, an essential nutrient that aids in brain development and health. In fact, choline starts to play an important role in a child’s health before he or she is even born, helping to properly develop a baby’s brain and spinal cord during pregnancy.
In an alarming statistic, more than 90 percent of Americans, including approximately 90 percent of pregnant women, fail to consume enough choline in their daily diets. Because choline remains critical throughout a person’s lifespan, the Advisory Committee encourages pregnant women, babies, pre-teens and adolescents to enjoy eggs, a natural and significant choline source. Two large eggs contain more than half of the recommended amount of choline for pregnant women and can help them meet their needs.
For babies, in addition to aiding in brain development, early introduction to eggs may help reduce their risk of developing a food allergy in the future, according to the Advisory Committee. Research confirms that introducing eggs in age-appropriate form, after four months old, may reduce the risk of allergy to eggs.
In what forms can you start introducing eggs to your child? Try these out:
- Hard-cooked egg yolk mashed on a spoon
- Baking eggs into a meal, such as Baby’s First Pancake
- Omelets with cheese and sautéed veggies, cut up into thin strips to easily pick up
- Finely mashed scrambled eggs
Eggs were the first solid food I fed to my son. Many would say that I’m biased, or that they are easily accessible to me, both being true, but the main reason I chose eggs is that they contain all of the key nutrients that support neurodevelopment and are a step in the right direction to building healthy dietary habits that will help him grow.