Eggs For Baby-Led Weaning (BLW)

Eggs provide a number of nutrients to support infant growth and development. Although eggs are one of the top 8 allergens among children, many kids can tolerate eggs without adverse effects when they start solids. This article dives into the latest research on introducing eggs to babies ane how to serve eggs for baby-led weaning (BLW).

Eggs are a rich source of protein, fat, B vitamins, choline, and selenium for growing babies. If you’re nervous about introducing eggs and other allergens, you’re not alone. Many parents feel this way. However, studies show that egg allergy only impacts 1-2% of children 0-2 years of age [1]. Furthermore, some evidence suggests that introducing egg when your child starts solids may help protect against egg allergy [2].

Beige and white chicken eggs on a brown background.

Nutrients found in eggs

Now, let’s talk about the nutrients in eggs. Eggs are a rich source of protein, fat, B-vitamins, choline, iodine, and selenium and these nutrients support growth, neurological development, and more.

  • Protein: Essential for building and maintaining tissues, and synthesizing enzymes, hormones, antibodies, and more.
  • Fat: Essential for brain and vision development. Also provides energy to fuel rapid growth.
  • B-vitamins (riboflavin, B12): Important for brain development and neurological function, energy production, and cell division.
  • Choline: Appears to support early cognitive development.
  • Selenium: Helps protect against free radical damage, and supports immune function.
  • Iodine: Essential for normal thyroid function which impacts brain development and metabolism.

It’s worth noting that babies don’t get much nutrition from food at first. Learning to eat takes time and exploration, and kids quite frankly aren’t very good at it in the beginning. However, over time your little one will rely more heavily on food for nutrition.

Egg and vegetables muffins for baby-led weaning in a black muffin tin on a pink background.

When can I introduce eggs to my baby?

For low-risk infants, eggs can be introduced when they begin solids between 4-6 months of age. Start with half a well-cooked egg and go from there.

For infants at higher risk of allergies (e.g. first-degree relative with food allergy, atopic dermatitis, or asthma), work with your pediatrician to come up with a plan for introducing food allergens. Evidence suggests that offering half a well-cooked egg twice a week as your baby starts solids could be helpful for protecting against egg allergy, however, your pediatrician can advise you on the right approach for your child [2].

10 ways to serve eggs for baby-led weaning (BLW)

Your baby can enjoy eggs in a variety of forms. Here are 10 ideas for serving eggs for baby-led weaning to help you get started:

  1. Hard-boil and cut into quarters.
  2. Fry and cut into strips.
  3. Omelet cut into strips.
  4. Hard boil, mash, and mix with Greek yogurt. Spread on toast fingers.
  5. Hard boil, mash, and mix with Greek yogurt and dill. Serve on a pre-loaded spoon.
  6. Hard boil and grate over avocado toast fingers.
  7. Whisk together with mashed banana and cinnamon, and griddle over medium heat to make pancakes.
  8. Whisk together with finely chopped, cooked veggies, bake in a muffin tin, and cut into frittata fingers.
  9. Scramble with finely chopped herbs.
  10. Whisk and add to oatmeal during cooking.
Ways to serve eggs for baby-led weaning: Hard-boiled and quartered; mashed and mixed with Greek yogurt; scrambled; whipped into oatmeal; omelet slices; and frittata cut into fingers.

Are runny egg yolks safe for babies?

Runny egg yolks, raw eggs, and undercooked eggs are generally not considered safe for babies because they may contain Salmonella, and infants are more vulnerable to food-borne illness than other age groups. Make sure eggs are cooked through before dishing them up to your little one.

Key takeaways

  • Eggs are a rich source of protein, fat, B-vitamins, choline and selenium for growing babies.
  • Studies show that egg allergy only impacts 1-2% of children 0-2 years of age and for many infants, eggs can be introduced when they begin solids between 4-6 months of age [1].
  • Eggs can be offered in a variety of forms including scrambled, omelet slices, and hard-boiled and quartered, to baby-led weaning infants.

[1] Samady, W., Warren, C., Wang, J., Das, R., & Gupta, R. S. (2020). Egg Allergy in US Children. The journal of allergy and clinical immunology. In practice8(9), 3066–3073.e6.

[2] Halken, S., Muraro, A., de Silva, D., Khaleva, E., Angier, E., Arasi, S., Arshad, H., Bahnson, H. T., Beyer, K., Boyle, R., du Toit, G., Ebisawa, M., Eigenmann, P., Grimshaw, K., Hoest, A., Jones, C., Lack, G., Nadeau, K., O’Mahony, L., Szajewska, H., … European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Guidelines Group (2021). EAACI guideline: Preventing the development of food allergy in infants and young children (2020 update). Pediatric allergy and immunology : official publication of the European Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology32(5), 843–858.

Ready to start baby-led weaning? Get the complete guide to baby-led weaning including 60+ pages of handouts, printables, recipe ideas, and more HERE.

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