Do we need to do yolk first or do we go all egg in?
While the internet is an amazing source of information it can also be a place filled with a lot of misinformation when it comes to feeding our little ones. Many parents have heard that they should introduce the egg yolk first, because it isn’t as allergenic as the egg white! You might also have heard that the yolk is rich in nutrients, but the white is hard to digest and doesn’t have as much nutrition so should be avoided.
But is this true or just another example of misinformation on the internet making it harder than it needs to be to feed our kids?
Firstly, let’s tackle the allergy myth around egg white:
So, it is true that there is a lot more protein in the white than in the yolk but if your bub is allergic to any part of the egg, they’ll need to avoid the whole thing. It may be that the protein that they are allergic to is just in the white, but it is impossible to safely separate them when it comes to allergies. It is also impossible to tell which specific protein or part they are allergic to. Introducing the yolk first doesn’t reduce the likelihood that they will develop an allergy either, so there is no need to separate out the white and the yolk when introducing eggs. What we do know from high quality research is that early introduction of allergens before 12 months may reduce the risk of an allergy developing, so introducing the whole egg between 6-12 months is the best thing to do.
So how to introduce egg:
- Start small, for example with ¼ of a teaspoon of cooked egg mixed in with some food puree
- For your second exposure increase the amount to ½ a teaspoon
- For your third exposure increase to 1-2 teaspoons
- If you are feeling nervous about introducing egg you can take a step back and rub a little bit of egg on the inside of their lip with your finger and monitor for a reaction before feeding them any
- If there are any signs of a reaction, stop feeding the egg, wipe down all traces from their hands and face then contact your GP. If there are any signs of anaphylaxis immediately follow your first aid plan.
- Egg should always be well cooked before 12 months of age; this is important for food safety.
Secondly, let’s chat about the nutrition powerhouse that is egg and I mean the whole egg:
It is a myth that the white doesn’t have value in your bubs diet or that it is too hard to digest! Yes, the yolk and the white have different nutrients, but both offer so much for our bodies and are a wonderful food to include in your baby’s diet.
An amazing source of protein (it is about 10% protein!) and it also has lots of important B vitamins, potassium and magnesium. Although it has less vitamins and minerals than the yolk, it is still an amazing source of nutrition for your bub. Let’s also not forget that separating the egg white from the yolk is messy, time consuming and not helping to reduce our food waste.
Is jam packed full of vitamins including A, D, E, K , the B vitamins and folate. The egg yolk is also one of the richest food sources of choline, which helps to build healthy cells and supports brain function. You’ll also find iron, calcium, selenium, zinc, copper, manganese and healthy fats.
Hopefully that has put your mind at ease and you’re now feeling confident about including the WHOLE eggs into your baby’s diet. They are such a great protein packed option to include, especially for breaky when we can get in a bit of a rut with cereals.
So here are 5 great ways to include egg in your baby’s diet:
- Eggy French toast
- Cooked through porridge for added protein
- Savoury breaky muffins
- Hard boiled and mashed through avocado on toast
If you're feeling a bit overwhelmed or confused with the Starting Solids thing and wanting some personalised guidance head over and book a one on one consultation with one of our paediatric dietitian's. We can help you put a plan in place that suits your family and your lifestyle to make introducing solids stress free!