The humble egg has been pretty controversial over the years. First, we thought they were too high in cholesterol; then we added them back in for their protein and brain-building nutrients. Pediatricians used to recommend waiting until your baby was 12 months old to try eggs because of the risk of food allergies. Now that’s changing, too.
When Can Babies Eat Eggs?
Most babies can try eggs at around 6 months old. Once your baby has become familiar with starter foods like baby cereal, pureed fruits and pureed veggies, it’s safe to start adding in eggs and other possibly allergenic foods. Pediatricians now believe that introducing foods like eggs and peanuts earlier could prevent food allergies later on. This is great news for parents concerned about reactions.
Not all babies will be ready for eggs this young. If your baby has severe eczema or other known food allergies, most pediatricians recommend waiting to try eggs until 12 months.
How to Spot an Allergy
When starting any new food with your baby, it’s best to wait 3 to 5 days before adding in another new food so you are able to recognize a possible reaction. It’s also best to try eggs at home as opposed to out at a restaurant or friend’s house. Just in case your baby has an allergic reaction, you’ll want to be at home to manage it or call your doctor if needed.
Your baby will probably tolerate eggs just fine but look for reactions that affect her skin, digestion or breathing. A skin reaction could include hives, redness, swelling or eczema. If your baby experiences diarrhea or vomiting after breakfast, she may have an egg allergy. More serious reactions include wheezing, trouble breathing, fast heartbeat and low blood pressure.
According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, most egg allergies resolve on their own in childhood. So if you do notice a reaction to eggs, your little one should fortunately outgrow it.
How to Prepare Eggs for Your Baby
It’s best to keep the eggs simple. One way to start is by peeling a hard-boiled egg and mashing the yolk up with breast milk or formula. You could then feed it to your baby with a spoon or break it into tiny bite-sized pieces for her to pick up.