Health benefits of eggs for kids

Eggs are healthy food for growing children. Egg contains many essential nutrients such as proteins, vitamins A, D, B 12, B-6, calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron and phosphorous. Since growing children need a lot of nutrition, let us see the health benefits of eggs for kids to aid in their growth and overall development.

The yellow part of the egg also called yolk contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. The white part contains high amounts of protein in it. It is important that the children get enough vitamins and minerals in their diet. It is best to feed one whole boiled egg to your baby, once if he / she becomes 1 year old.

Health of benefits of eggs for kids

For growth and development

Protein is highly essential for child growth. Eggs are complete protein and contain about 6 grams. Young body needs plenty of protein for new cell generation and regeneration of cells. Egg helps children grow healthier and stronger. One whole egg contains about 6 grams of protein in it.

Maintaining healthy eyes

Adding eggs in your kids’ diet is a good thing. It prevents night blindness and retains good eye vision. Egg yolks are good sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are both essential for healthy eyes. They keep your kids’ vision sharp and prevent some major problems like eye disorders, age-related macular degeneration, and many others.

For brain development

Choline is a water-soluble nutrient available in egg yolks. One egg yolk contains almost 115 mg of choline. Phosphatidylcholine plays a significant role in synthesis of phopholipids and sphinogomyelin, the key structural element of human cell membrane. Choline in egg also helps in the formation of cholinergic neurons that formulate portions of the brain.

Bone development

Vitamin D is indispensable for bone health. Eggs are one of the best sources of vitamin D. This nutrient is available egg yolk and hence it is vital that the children consume the whole egg and not just the whites. Every 100 grams of egg contains 40 IU which means 21% of Recommended Daily Value.

Maintain muscle, organs, bones and blood

Human body needs 22 amino acids to function. Of that, 13 amino acids can be produced by our body on its own. The remaining 9 amino acids are essential acids. They are leucine, phenylalanine, histidine, isoleucine, lycine, methionine,  threonine, tryptophan and valine. All these are available in eggs.

When your child consumes protein rich food, the child’s body breaks down the protein into amino acids. These amino acids help the body to maintain muscle, organs, bones and blood.

Healthy hair and nails

Kids have the habit of biting their nails or breaking them. The amino acids and high sulphur content available in eggs help in the faster growth of nails and hair.

Neural health

Vitamin B-12 is essential for neural health. B-12 deficiency leads to serious and irreversible nerve damage and anemia. Egg contains substantial amounts of vitamin B-12. Children of age between 1 to 3 years need 0.9 mcg per day and children of 4 to 8 years need 1.2 mcg per day. Every 100 grams of egg contains 1.1 mg which is more than the Recommended Daily Value.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Early brain and child development is significant for the health and well-being of children. Insufficient intake of omega-3 fatty acids reduce DHA and increase omega-6 fatty acids in the brain. Reduced DHA in the developing brain directs to deficits in neurogenesis, neurotransmitter metabolism, altered learning and visual function. Egg yolks contain good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Adding egg yolks to your child’s diet helps brain development.

Good source of iron

Iron is an essential component for blood production. Iron deficiency leads to anemia. Eggs are also rich in iron. Consumption of iron rich food increases blood production and prevents anemia in children.

High cholesterol

Eggs are high in cholesterol but it is required for toddlers and babies. Fat and cholesterol is important for brain development. Choline, Omega-3 fatty acid, cholesterol and fat, all these nutrients promote brain development.

According to new research eggs are best to give children for breakfast.

“The study carried out at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found eating eggs for breakfast – instead of cereal or porridge – will keep them fuller throughout the morning”.

Note:

The Recommended Daily Value of cholesterol per day is 300 mg. One large boiled egg contains 169 mg of cholesterol.

Feeding three to four eggs per week to your kids and toddlers is always safer than feeding every day.

Expert Medical Opinion – By Dr. HemaPriya, MBBS, AFIH

1.    Is egg an essential part of a child’s diet?
Yes, eggs are protein rich and can be added in a baby’s regular diet to enhance the overall growth and development.
2.    How many eggs can a toddler consume per day?
One egg per day is a healthy recommendation.
3.    There is a saying that egg white causes allergies in children, is it true?
Some babies might be allergic to eggs, following the 3 day rule and introducing the yolk and white separately is important to rule out the allergies.
4.    Do you recommend egg consumption to increase weight in children?
Yes, Eggs are protein, vitamins and minerals rich and can help in weight gain.

Kalaivani Selvaraj, MBA, got her Master’s degree in Human Resources. Due to her interest in natural healing, she pursued studies in the field of alternative medicine and is certified in Aromatherapy by Isla Verde Spa Training Academy. Ms. Kalaivani Selvaraj is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.