Eggs & Kids – New Guidelines and Fun Food IdeasPresident's Blog
I remember when I had my first child and was ready to introduce solid foods. There was so much to learn! The public health directives at the time were quite detailed (and strict!) about which foods to introduce, and what order they should be introduced in. I remember carefully introducing rice cereal, vegetables and fruit as first foods.
We were told to delay introducing certain allergenic foods to help reduce the risk of our baby developing a food allergy. Peanuts and egg whites were on the “do not serve” list until kids were at least over a year old.
Oh, how times have changed! Guidelines are much more relaxed, and the main goal is to introduce iron-rich foods beginning at six months of age, because baby’s iron stores have been depleted by then.
What about allergies? Pediatricians and dietitians have scoured the research and have changed their minds based on science. They now say there is no convincing evidence to delay the introduction of allergenic foods such as milk, eggs, soy and nuts. The new guidelines suggest introducing all foods (except honey) when you introduce solids (and honey is delayed due to the possibility of botulism, not due to allergies). In fact, there is evidence suggesting that early introduction is key to helping reduce allergenic reaction.
If I had a baby now, whole eggs would be on the menu as one of their first foods. Eggs are a source of iron, so they are an ideal first food to give babies that essential nutrient. You can easily make scrambled eggs that babies will love, or can make simple two-ingredient pancakes from eggs and banana .
As your baby develops into a toddler and an older child, keep eggs on the menu! They are a good source of protein (6 grams per egg), and are one of few foods to contain vitamin D (for healthy bones), choline (for brain health) and lutein (for eyesight). And if your little one still hasn’t learned to favour fish, you can choose omega-3 enriched eggs such as Naturegg Omega-3, which contain 400 mg omega-3 per egg (kids need a minimum of 100-250 mg/day depending on age). I remember my Dad always reinforcing how eggs contain all of the nutrition we need except vitamin C. There is nothing better for your child!
A whole lot of fun
Whether you are teaching kids to crack an egg, make their first stove-top meal (scrambled eggs are so easy) or decorating a platter of devilled eggs, eggs are simple, versatile and fun. Fun you say? For sure! Take a look at these Unicorn eggs . You can also hard boil eggs, slice them, and use the yolk-white slice as funny eyes on your child plate. Add a red pepper smile, some lettuce hair and a blueberry necklace, and you’ve got food art that’s nutritious too!
Kids also love these Egg “hot dogs” – just toss the wiener and replace it with a mini-omelette and some ketchup. Other kid-friendly recipes you can try are Garden veggie omelette pinwheels and these freezable Lunchbox mini frittatas . What egg recipes do your kids like best? I’d love to hear from you.
President, Burnbrae Farms
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For the seventh year, Burnbrae Farms will match every “Hens and Roosters” gift purchased from World Vision’s Gift Catalogue, up to the value of $15,000. Canadians have the opportunity to purchase “hens and roosters” for families in need in one of the 50 countries that World Vision supports around the world.
Pairing Eggs and Calcium for Bone Health
Do you know that eggs play a role in bone health? Most people make the connection between dairy products, calcium and bone health, but many don’t know that eggs play a role, too! Eggs are one of the few foods that contain vitamin D, which is a vital partner to calcium when building healthy bones. November is the perfect time to talk about pairing calcium and vitamin D in egg and dairy recipes since November is Osteoporosis Month. Osteoporosis Canada is drawing attention to this condition that affects two million Canadians.