While many experts used to say that eggs should not be introduced into a baby's diet until they had reached 12 months of age because of a possibility of allergic reactions, the advice is slowly changing and now many parents are confused about when they should first introduce eggs to their baby. This article looks at current advice and helps parents to find out more about how to start giving eggs to their infant as part of their diet.
Originally, experts stated that babies should not be given eggs at a young age as they contain a number of allergens which can trigger bad reactions in young children. As the majority of allergic reactions to eggs occur before the age of 12 months, the initial advice was to refrain from giving babies eggs until they reached a year of age to avoid health implications. Today however, this advice is altering. While it is known that it is the egg white which contains allergens and therefore may cause a reaction in infants and the egg yolk is unlikely to cause a reaction, most medical advisors now suggest that unless there is a family history of allergy to eggs, it is generally considered to be safe to give babies eggs from around six months of age.
Although many parents still prefer to wait until after 12 months to offer egg whites for the first time, experts say that giving egg yolks as part of their diet from 6 months onwards is perfectly safe and for the vast majority of children, offering whole eggs with caution from the age of 6 months is generally considered to be safe. Eggs are actually a very nutrititious food choice as they are rich in iron and protein and can be prepared in a variety of ways so including them in your little one's diet is a great way to boost your child's growth and development. If you have a family history of allergies however, it would still be safest to wait until your child is aged one.
When you are ready to introduce eggs to your baby, you should only offer a couple of spoonfuls on its own without any other foods. This will test for allergic reactions, so you should keep a close eye on your baby for any symptoms such as hives, swelling, itchy eyes, runny nose or sore throat that may indicate a bad reaction. Always ensure that any eggs you offer are thoroughly cooked and never offer soft boiled or raw eggs to an infant as they may contain salmonella.