Nutrient Dense Baby Foods: Eggs Yolks as Baby’s First Food
This is the second post in the Nutrient Dense Baby Foods series. Read the previous post to learn about Nutrient Dense Baby Foods: What to Introduce and When. Every week I am discussing nutrient dense foods for you baby, when to introduce them, and how to prepare them! As a mother of twins, I know that making your own baby food can seem overwhelming. I’ve been there and if I can learn to do it, you can too! Making your own baby food not only provides your baby with nutritious foods but it is also economical. Egg yolks, for example, are one of the cheapest, most nutritious and EASIEST foods to prepare for your baby!
Why are egg yolks good for your baby?
1. Your baby needs cholesterol. Cholesterol is an integral part in the insulation of the nerves in the brain. It is also important for the central nervous system. Cholesterol increases the formation of bile acids that help with fat digestion. It is also necessary for the production of many hormones. A baby’s brain growth is happening so quickly at this stage of life that it is very important to make sure your baby’s diet includes enough good cholesterol. (source)
2. Your baby needs choline. Choline is another critical nutrient for brain development. Egg yolks contain the B-complex vitamin choline that is associated with better neurological function and reduced inflammation. Did you know choline helps with ‘happiness’? Choline breaks down into bethane, which is used during the methylation cycle, which in turn helps produce ‘happiness’ hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine! (source)
3. Your baby can benefit from lutein and zeaxanthin. Egg yolks contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two carotenoids that protect against vision loss. (source)
4. Your baby needs sulfur. Eggs are also high in sulfur. Sulfur is a nutrient that helps with vitamin B absorption and liver function. Sulfur is also necessary for the production of collagen and keratin. These proteins help create and maintain shiny hair, strong nails and glowing skin. (source)
What about cholesterol?
According to a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, infants who consumed egg yolks had improved iron levels when compared with the infants who did not. In addition, those infants who got the egg yolks enriched with extra fatty acids had 30 percent to 40 percent greater DHA levels than those fed regular egg yolks. No significant effect on blood cholesterol levels was seen. The study compared the nutritional effects of feeding weaning infants 6-12 months of age regular egg yolks, enriched egg yolks, and an otherwise normal diet. (source)
What kind of eggs should I feed my baby?
Why just the egg yolk, why not the egg white?
The white is the portion that most often causes allergic reactions. It is recommended that you wait until after your child turns one to introduce egg whites. (source) Don’t forget to put a pinch of salt on the egg yolk!
How to prepare an egg yolk for your baby:
- Bring water to boil in a pan.
- Gently place egg in boiling water. (I use one of these so I don’t crack the egg.)
- Boil egg for 5 minutes. (I always set a timer. There are way too many distractions in my house.) The goal is to have a warm firm center. You do not want a runny center. Boiling an egg shouldn’t be a difficult task but there is some experimentation required to cook it to the level you prefer. Some cooking experts suggest 3-4 minutes. I cook on a LP gas cooktop and 5 minutes is the magic number for me.
- Remove egg from pan. Allow to cool. Peel egg and separate yellow yolk from egg white. Mash egg yolk and serve! You can also mash in a little cod liver oil with the egg yolk. Learn more about feeding your baby cod liver oil here.
Next week I’ll begin explaining how you can save time and money and still make healthy, nutrient dense baby food!
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