Baby’s Perfect First Food: Eggs (And The Best Way to Boil an Egg)

Post by Contriburing Writer, Beth

Feeding a baby solids can be an intimidating step in their development. Which foods, when, how much? There is one food that is simple and easy and not even requiring a recipe, which, shockingly both the medical community and the real food community have begun to agree upon: eggs.

Canada’s health officials have recently released new recommendations for baby’s first foods that are much more aligned with the real food movement. The new guidelines include meat and meat alternatives from the get-go, instead of waiting until much later, as was previously recommended.

Unfortunately they are still advising cereal (which is nutritionally void and highly processed), and failing to recognize the importance of real sea salt and healthy fats. Despite this, the good news is that the new recommendation lines up with what traditional cultures have been feeding their babies for generations: egg yolk.

The Weston A. Price Foundation advises egg yolks also, and reminds us that eggs are rich in choline, good cholesterol, and iron, which are all incredibly important for baby’s developing brain. Pastured eggs from chickens that peck around in the dirt eating bugs and such are best, and have a higher nutritional profile than their grocery-store counterparts.

It has long been advised to avoid egg whites until after baby is a year old due to the risk of allergy, but some doctors and studies are now saying it doesn’t matter. Either way, the egg yolk is a highly nutritious choice for baby’s first food.

I’ve been married for 10 years this spring, and I’ve been boiling eggs the same way for at least that long: throw them in a pot and boil the heck out of them for about 10 minutes.

photo source

Thankfully, I recently figured out the formula for making the perfect hard-boiled eggs. These tricks produce a perfect hard-boiled egg that is easy to peel – what more could you ask for? Here’s how you do it:

1) Place eggs in the pot, with enough water to almost cover them.

2) Add a 1/4 teaspoon or so of baking soda.

3) Bring to a boil.

4) Immediately remove the pot from the heat, put a lid on it.

4) Set the timer for 12 minutes.

5) Drain, fill with cold water, wait one minute.

6) Drain again, peel, enjoy!

The baking soda weakens the membrane under the shell, which makes them easier to peel, and the slower cooking allows them to cook more gently and evenly, avoiding that awful grey ring that you sometimes find in hard-boiled eggs.

Cut the egg in half, take out the yolk, and serve to baby however you want! I like to smoosh it a little with some breastmilk, or just put it on the tray whole for baby to explore and mash.

Eggs are a nutritious choice for the whole family, and you can serve them to your baby with confidence!

What foods do you feed your babies when they’re starting solids?

Beth blogs at Red & Honey, a lifestyle blog for the naturally-minded homemaker. She recently began a passionate love affair with coffee and her life will never be the same. She has had three babies in less than four years, is a professional laundry-avoider, and loves to stay up way too late making weird stuff from scratch that normal people tend to just buy in a store. Hence, the coffee.

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9 comments to Baby’s Perfect First Food: Eggs (And The Best Way to Boil an Egg)

  • Rachel

    I agree that egg yolk is a fantastic early food for some babies. But having had a nephew who reacted with an almost instant hives around his mouth to a bite of chicken soup in which I’d added some egg shells while making the broth and also a friend who has been to the emergency room a few times with her son for an egg allergy (including his first exposure as a baby), I think it’s really important to emphasize which children might be more at risk. Any baby who has had signs of food intolerance through breastmilk (or formula), such as those really “colicky” babies who seem miserable much of the time or have reflux and babies whose parents or relatives have known food allergies should be given egg very cautiously. It’s also really important that parents know the signs of an allergic response. If my friend hadn’t been aware the first time they might not have made it to the ER in time. Egg is extremely nutritious and easy to digest but unfortunately so many of us and thus our children have damaged guts and are sadly at higher risk for reactions.

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    @Rachel,
    Isn’t this the case for any food given to a baby for the first time? I have no personal experience so I’m curious about it.

    [Reply]

    Rachel Reply:

    @Rachel,

    Sure, a person can have a reaction to anything. But eggs and peanuts seem to have more life-threatening reactions the first time tried. I think my hesitation with saying that egg is a great first food for babies is that it’s one of the more highly allergenic foods, along with dairy, soy, corn, nuts, shellfish, etc. If there’s not apparent gut issues and no family history of food allergies then it could be a good first food.

    [Reply]

    beth@redandhoney Reply:

    @Rachel, Actually, from all that I’ve read, its the egg white that is the common allergen, not the yolk.

    beth@redandhoney Reply:

    @Rachel, Actually, from all that I’ve read, its the egg white that is the common allergen, not the yolk. I agree, though, that if there’s a history of food allergies in the family that one should always be cautious.

    Rachel Reply:

    @Rachel, Yes, the egg white is the most allergenic part, but if your child develops a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction to eggs then a) they may also react to the yolk and b) it’s nearly impossible to guarantee no contamination of the yolk with white. My friend’s son reacted to a nut from his grandmother’s freezer. The only thing that his mom can figure out is that one of the grandparents must have reached into the bag with some sort of egg-containing food still on their hands. It doesn’t have to be visible or even direct contact. Of course this is extremely rare and egg will be fine for most babies. As you mentioned some parents may just want to proceed with caution.

  • Jen

    Avocados! Just mash ripe ones with a fork, and if you want to thin them out the first time add a touch of breast milk.

    [Reply]

  • Jane

    Many vaccines are cultured on chic embryos (among other animal tissues) which is postulated to cause major allergies in some children. when injected with the vaccine the body makes antibodies to the egg components.
    If a child has leaky gut at the time he is being injected with vaccines which contain immune system stimulants, theoretically the child could produce antibodies to any foreign proteins circulating in the blood. Food for thought.

    [Reply]

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