There’s more to learn about protecting your baby from egg allergies. Read our Egg Allergy Guide to discover how you can lower your child’s risk of developing an egg allergy
Feeding your baby any new food can be scary. But most parents probably think eggs are a great first food for baby since they are nutritious. Any they’re right! It’s important to feed your baby eggs as soon as they start eating solid foods to reduce their risk of developing an egg allergy.
When Can Babies Have Eggs?
Babies can begin eating eggs as soon as they can tolerate solid foods. This means that they are
At least 4 months old
Can hold their head up steady for a long time
Are showing interest in foods
Have tolerated one easy food like pureed fruit
Since the 2017 change in guidelines, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests babies begin eating eggs along with solid foods, and that parents do not delay the introduction of eggs.
Start with Baked Eggs
One of the most consistent findings from the 6 studies on early introduction of eggs is that a number of babies were already allergic to whole egg powder or egg white powder even when they started the study at 4 months old.
However, when babies were fed a baked egg, those reactions didn’t happen. When looking at all 6 studies together, feeding babies baked egg was 15 times safer than a cooked egg.
That means that by starting with baked egg, WAY more babies can safely eat egg, and reduce the chances of developing egg allergy.
The other interesting thing to know is that feeding babies baked eggs can still protect them against a cooked egg allergy when they are ready for cooked eggs later in life.
What does “baked” mean? In 2013, a team of researchers set out to answer that question. For an egg to be “baked” safely for your baby to eat, it must be baked at a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or boiled at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
What they found was that in a raw egg white, OVA and OVM were still both around and active. In a fried egg, OVA and OVM were still both around and active. In an egg boiled for 10 mins, OVA and OVM were still both around and active.
But in an egg boiled for 30 min OR baked for 20 min at 350F, only OVM was active. The OVA was gone.
So OVM is there no matter what you do, but if you heat and egg at 350F (170C) for 20 mins or boil it at 212C (100C) for 30 mins, the OVA protein breaks apart (denatures).
How Do You Feed Babies Eggs?
Simply add two scoops of Lil Mixins Infant Egg Powder Mixin to any baby food! It’s pre-baked and ground fine so it’ll blend into anything and doesn’t create a risk of choking.
If you want to prepare eggs on your own, know that feeding your baby eggs gets easier the older they get. At 4 months old, they can only eat very thin purees. By 6 months, an applesauce is okay. By 10 months, they can eat scrambled eggs, bits of muffins/ baked goods, and by one year old they are ready for most textures.
Preparing Eggs for a 4-8 Months Old Baby
Step 1: Boil or Bake the Egg
Remember, how the egg is cooked really matters. Multiple studies showed that feeding babies raw or lightly cooked eggs can cause reactions.
Boiling - Bring water to a boil, and boil egg for 30 mins.
Baking - Mix egg with a starch (i.e. rice flour) and bake for 20 min at 350F.
Step 2: Fine Mash or Puree
One of the most helpful items you can have in your house when your baby is ready for solids is a blender. It can be the same blender you use for your smoothies, though we like having a smaller one that can serve as a baby food holder as well.
Depending on if you boiled the egg or baked it, add enough water or breastmilk to the egg to soften it and then puree it. If you are mashing the egg, use a fork or potato masher. You can also use a knife to finely chop the egg and then add the liquid.
Step 3: Mix the egg with Fruits, Veggies, or Cereal
Turns out, boiled pureed egg doesn’t taste great. But the neutral taste works well with almost anything.
Some great ideas for foods that mix with eggs are broccoli, apples, peaches, berries, and oatmeal.
Preparing Eggs for a 8-12 Months Old Baby
If your baby is older (8 to 12 months), they can handle chopped or mashed eggs. The food no longer needs to be pureed. Of course, each baby is different and you will know what textures your baby is ready for.
Preparing Eggs After the First Birthday
After about a year old, your baby should have good enough pincer movements to eat boiled or scrambled eggs.
Note: babies & children should never eat raw eggs because of the risk of salmonella poisoning.
How Long Does It Take To Prevent An Egg Allergy?
Even though the best way to prevent an egg allergy is feeding your baby eggs early, it is just as important that babies are fed eggs regularly as it is to start early. Babies’ immune systems are developing typically between 6 and 10 months old - the exact time period that they are starting to crawl.
The same way that you might baby-proof your house before your baby starts crawling, and keep the baby gates up after they are a decent walker, you should do the same with regular feedings of eggs and nuts. Start before 6 months, and keep going until at least their first birthday.
Keep learning about egg allergies with more information about living with an egg allergy.