Eggs are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. They have the goodness of high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats, and various trace nutrients. If any food is a superfood, it’s eggs. If you think about it, just one egg contains all the nutrients and building blocks required to grow a baby chicken. Making sure you have all the information source in one place, here is your ultimate guide to eggs for kids.
Eggs provide all the vital nutrients, making them an excellent choice for fueling children’s growing bodies and minds. Here’s everything you need to know about adding eggs to your child’s diet.
Nutritional Value of Eggs
Eggs are an incredibly nourishing food, providing a wealth of healthy nutrients. They provide high-quality protein alongside many vital vitamins and minerals.
Here’s the nutritional profile for a whole, large egg: ultimate guide to eggs (63 grams):
Protein: 6 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Carbohydrates: less than 1 gram
Choline: 31% of the Daily Value (DV)
Selenium: 28% of the DV
Vitamin B12: 21% of the DV
Riboflavin Vitamin B2: 16% of the DV
Vitamin B5: 7% of the RDA
Vitamin D: 6% of the DV
Retinol Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
Phosphorus: 9% of the RDA
Iron: 5% of the DV
Eggs are one of only a few foods that provide vitamin D, a nutrient that’s vital for healthy bones, immunity, cell growth, and more.
Another essential nutrient present in the eggs is Selenium. Among other benefits, this trace mineral is important for reproductive health and the production of thyroid hormones.
Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two compounds known as carotenoids. They act as antioxidants and help protect your eyes from damage and conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.
Many of the nutrients that the egg has are present in the yolk. Eating just egg whites won’t provide the same nutrients.
Ultimate Guide to Eggs: Health Benefits
Eggs are so nutritious that they’re often referred to as “nature’s multivitamin.” Consider these health benefits of eggs so that you can add them to your kid’s diet.
1. Eggs contain high-quality proteins with a perfect Amino acid profile
Proteins are the main building blocks of the human body, and they consist of amino acids. Amino Acids are linked together. Your body uses about 21 amino acids to build its proteins. Nine of these cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from the diet. They are known as essential amino acids.
Proteins are used to make all sorts of tissues and molecules that serve both structural and functional purposes. Children should get enough protein in their diet, which is vital for their growth and development. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, with all the essential amino acids in the correct ratios.
2. Eggs are rich in Choline, an important nutrient for the brain for kids
Choline is a lesser-known nutrient that is often grouped with the B-complex vitamins. Choline is used to build cell membranes and has a role in producing signaling molecules in the brain, along with various other functions. A low choline intake has been implicated in liver diseases, heart disease, and neurological disorders.
Whole eggs are an excellent source of choline. A single egg contains more than 100 mg of this very important nutrient.
3. Eggs have Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes
Lutein and zeaxanthin are potent antioxidants that tend to accumulate in the retina, the sensory part of the eye, where they protect the eyes from harmful sunlight. These antioxidants help counteract some of the degenerative processes that can affect our eyes. Studies show that consuming adequate amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin can significantly reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are among the leading causes of two common eye disorders, vision impairment, and blindness.
Egg yolks contain large amounts of both lutein and zeaxanthin. In one controlled study, eating just 1.3 egg yolks per day for 4.5 weeks increased blood levels of lutein by 28–50% and zeaxanthin by 114–142%.
4. Eggs are a rich source of Vitamin D for kids, which mainly aids in Calcium absorption
Vitamin D, the ‘sunshine vitamin,’ is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is made by the body when sunlight hits the skin. It is essential to absorb various nutrients, including calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and phosphate. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in helping us maintain healthy bones and teeth, in muscle function, and in regulating our immune system.
A serving of two eggs provides 82% of your daily recommended vitamin D intake, and eggs contain one of the highest quantities of vitamin D in any food.
5. Eggs improve your Cholesterol profile and reduce your risk of heart disease
Eggs raise HDL (the “good”) cholesterol, and they tend to change the LDL (the “bad”) cholesterol to a giant subtype. People with higher HDL levels usually have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and other health problems. Eating eggs consistently leads to elevated levels of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol. In one study, eating two eggs per day for six weeks increased HDL levels by 10%.
6. Eggs are an excellent dietary source for kids of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are responsible for numerous cellular functions, such as signaling, cell membrane fluidity, and structural maintenance. They regulate the nervous system, blood pressure, hematic clotting, glucose tolerance, and inflammatory processes. They also play a key role in brain and eye development and function.
Our bodies cannot produce Omega-3 fatty acids on their own, and they must be absorbed through various diet sources. Eggs are a great dietary source of Omega-3 fatty acids, providing, on average, 180mg per serving of 2 eggs.
7. Eggs contain selenium and zinc, which help strengthen the immune system of kids
Zinc and selenium are essential minerals essential for a healthy immune system. Selenium is important for reproduction, thyroid function, DNA synthesis, and protecting the body from oxidative damage and infection. Zinc plays roles in immune function, protein synthesis, cell division, and wound healing. Eggs contain selenium and zinc, which help in boosting the immune system of kids.
8. Eggs are low in calories and help in preventing childhood obesity
Even though many factors can contribute to weight gain, the most evidence-based way to promote weight loss is to reduce your daily calorie intake or increase the number of calories you burn.
One large egg contains only about 74 calories, yet it’s very high in nutrients. Egg yolks are incredibly nutritious.
Ultimate Guide to Eggs: Different Types
Eggs are a typical staple food in many parts of the world. There are many different types of eggs available for you to choose from.
1. Brown vs. White Eggs
Chicken eggs come in different colors, and it’s common to find brown and white eggs at the supermarket. The color of an egg is based on the breed of the hen that lays it.
2. Conventional Eggs
Conventional eggs are the least expensive of all eggs. The hens that lay these eggs do not have access to the outdoors. Their breeding and raising happens in small cages. These are your standard supermarket eggs.
3. Organic Eggs
Organic eggs originate from hens fed on a vegetarian or organic diet. These hens are generally let in the open rather than stuck in cages.
4. Vegetarian Eggs
Vegetarian eggs originate from hens that are strictly fed a vegetarian diet, free from any kind of non-vegetarian food.
5. Omega-3-Enriched Eggs
Omega-3-rich eggs are come from hens fed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which transfer into their eggs.
6. Pastured Eggs
Pastured eggs are harvested from chickens allowed to roam free in open pastures, eating plants and insects (their natural food) along with some commercial feed.
Ultimate Guide to Eggs: Allergy Disclaimer
Egg allergies are among the second most common food allergies, especially in children. However, 68% of children who are allergic to eggs will outgrow their allergy by the time they’re 16 years old.
The most common symptoms include digestive distress (stomach ache), skin reactions (hives or a rash), and respiratory problems. In severe cases may include anaphylaxis, a life-threatening condition.
It’s possible to be allergic to egg whites but not the yolks, and vice versa. It is because the proteins in egg whites and egg yolks differ slightly. Yet, egg whites have allergy triggering proteins, so an egg white allergy is more common.
Like other allergies, the treatment for an egg allergy is an egg-free diet. However, you may not have to avoid all egg-related foods, as heating eggs can change the shape of the allergy-causing proteins. Some people may be able to reintroduce some foods containing cooked eggs into their diet.
If you suspect an egg allergy in your child, seek the care of a qualified healthcare professional for personalized advice.
Eggs are exceptionally nutritious, high in antioxidants, and are one of the best sources of protein and calcium for kids. Consuming one egg per day helps in the proper development of your child’s brain and cognitive memory. It also aids in strengthening their bones and muscles. If you need more reasons to eat eggs, they are also cheap, go with almost any food and taste great. However, consume eggs in moderation, as excessive consumption leads to cardiovascular diseases. Serve only fresh eggs to kids, and ensure to cook or boil the egg before serving them. Raw or partially cooked eggs carry a lot of diseases due to the high bacteria content in them. Also, if your child has a history of allergies, consult a doctor before serving eggs to them!