How and when should you introduce eggs to your baby?
With the recent talk about peanut allergies and new guidelines from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to introduce peanuts to infants sooner rather than later, I’m also thinking about other common allergens like eggs.
The NIH has only published updated guidelines on the introduction of peanuts, not any other common allergens. However, in 2013 the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) issued guidelines recommending that there is no reason to delay the introduction of potentially allergenic foods like eggs and peanuts once a baby is comfortably tolerating a few other foods that are not highly allergenic.
I find that most pediatricians follow the AAAAI’s recommendations, but of course talk to yours about what’s right for your baby given the baby’s health and your family history before introducing any potential allergens.
We introduced eggs to our daughter when she was about six months old. Many parents mash up some scrambled eggs with formula or breastmilk to create a puree for the baby, but I thought that the texture of eggs cooked in egg drop soup would be a good way to try it out. Plus, this method resulted in homemade egg drop soup for mom and dad. Bonus!
Egg drop soup is really, really REALLY easy to make. You may never order it from a takeout restaurant again. I love that when making it at home you can control the ingredients. If you’ll be feeding this to a baby, I recommend replacing some of the chicken broth with water to keep the sodium content low. You can always add a splash of soy sauce to mom and dad’s portions.
Wondering about the pictured baby spoon? It’s from a brand called Spuni. I found this spoon to be really helpful when my daughter was first starting solids. I was frustrated with the way the food on a regular baby spoon never seemed to really make its way into her mouth. This spoon is engineered to work with a baby’s latching instinct, which I found resulted in her accepting more of the food I was offering.
Eggs are also a great source of protein and the nutrient choline (which is important for the healthy development of a baby’s brain), so they’re a great food for women to include often in their diets if they’re trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding. Personally, I can only eat so many hard boiled and scrambled eggs before getting sick of them, so this soup is a great way to mix up my egg consumption.
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Egg Drop Soup
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1-2 cloves garlic optional
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 2 eggs
- Green onions thinly sliced (optional)
Bring broth and garlic (if usinto a simmer over medium heat.
Break eggs into a cup with a spout (such as a Pyrex measuring cuand whisk together.
Vigorously whisk cornstarch into broth mixture.*
While stirring the broth mixture with one hand, slowly pour the whisked eggs into the pot with the other hand. Remove from heat and let stand 1-2 minutes.
For adult version: Garnish with green onions. For baby version: Strain some of the egg solids out of the broth before feeding.
*You could do this step properly and avoid lumps by removing some of the broth, stirring in the cornstarch to create a paste and returning the paste to the pot, but for this recipe, I've never found that it made much difference. Egg drop soup is lumpy anyway.
This recipe is easily scaled. Just add one additional cup of chicken broth / tsp of cornstarch / egg per serving.