Parents want the best for their kids. We want them to do well in school, we want them to find their way in life, and—above all—we want them to be happy. One of the best ways parents help is by feeding their kids a delicious and nutritious diet. We want them to have the energy they need to learn, grow, and succeed. Eggs can play a big role in that. I want to share with you five key reasons why eggs can help your child become all they can be.
1. Healthy brain
Research has found that pregnant and breastfeeding women who eat eggs are more likely to meet their child’s need for choline.1 What is choline, you ask? It boosts parts of the brain important for learning and memory. We know pregnant women need more choline, with one University of Toronto study suggesting that 87% of those women consumed less than the recommended amount.2 The lesson is: don’t avoid eggs during pregnancy!
2. Healthy growth
Two studies have shown the role eggs can play to regulate and maintain a child’s weight. One study found that children who eat higher-protein egg-based breakfasts ate fewer calories at lunch. The other study found that hunger was reduced overall when children ate a higher-protein egg-based breakfast. That breakfast increased children’s’ fullness by 32%, decreased hunger by 14% and desire to eat by 30% compared to a carbohydrate-rich meal.3 For healthy weight regulation, eggs can be key!
3. Less sugar
One of the reasons obesity is so prevalent in North America is our sugar-rich diets. According to one report, “one in every five calories that Canadians consume comes from sugar”.4 Youth are among the highest consumers of sugar. Eggs are a wholesome food, free of sugar, and rich in vitamins and nutrients. Plus they can be cooked in so many delicious ways—the perfect option for reducing sugar intake.
4. Preventing an allergy
Eggs are such a healthy food choice, yet an egg allergy can prevent you from enjoying them for a lifetime. But introducing whole eggs early in a child’s diet can reduce their chances of developing an egg allergy. It’s one of the reasons why the latest infant feeding guidelines from Health Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society, Dietitians of Canada and the Breastfeeding Committee for Canada recommend introducing whole eggs as soon as six months of age, or as soon as your baby starts eating whole foods.
5. So many nutritional benefits
One of the great things about those new infant feeding guidelines is their implication for babies. From a nutritional perspective, eggs are simply an incredible food. Eggs are an excellent source of iron and are a nutritious source of protein, fat, Vitamins A, D, E, and B12 and choline.
Eggs offer so much to our children. They are at the core of a diet that will help them grow up healthy, strong and smart. So do your best to feed your kids eggs. They’ll thank you one day… or they’ll thank you that day, when they love what you’ve cooked!
¹Lewis ED et al. Estimation of choline intake from 24 h dietary intake recalls and contribution of egg and milk consumption to intake among pregnant and breastfeeding women in Alberta. British Journal of Nutrition 2014; 112(1):112-21.
2 Masih SP et al. Pregnant Canadian women achieve recommended intakes of one-carbon nutrients through prenatal supplementation but the supplement composition, including choline, requires reconsideration. Journal of Nutrition 2015 Aug; 145(8):1824-34.
3 Baum JI, GrayM and Binns A. Breakfasts higher in protein increase postprandial energy expenditure, increase fat oxidation, and reduce hunger in overweight children from 8 to 12 years of age. J Nutr 2015; 145(10):2229–35.
4 Statistics Canada. Sugar consumption among Canadians of all ages. Health Reports, 2014; 82-003-X, Volume 22, Number 3.