CircleBumpCheckedFilledMedicalBookmarkBookmarkTickBookmarkAddCheckBoxCheckBoxFilled

When Can Babies Eat Eggs?

You might be wondering when, exactly, is the best time to introduce eggs to baby. We crack the conundrum.
save article
profile picture of Katherine Martinelli
Updated December 18, 2023
baby sitting in high chair
Image: Kristina Igumnova26 | Shutterstock

Starting baby on solid foods is an exciting, yet nerve-wracking milestone. Guidelines on food allergies are always evolving, so it’s natural to feel nervous about introducing foods like eggs—a top allergen—to baby. So when can babies have eggs? Here’s everything you need to know about when and how to introduce eggs to baby, signs of egg allergy in baby and more.

When Can Babies Have Eggs?

You can introduce baby to eggs from the time they start solids, which is usually around 6 months, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Although the AAP previously recommended avoiding eggs until 2 years of age, it reversed its guidelines in 2008 after research found that introducing allergens earlier in life could actually help prevent allergies. “If baby has a family history of food allergies, it’s recommended that you introduce eggs one at a time, starting with a very small amount,” advises Daniel Ganjian, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA.

How to Introduce Eggs to Baby

When it comes to introducing eggs to baby, Ganjian says slow and steady wins the race. You can start by giving baby strips of scrambled egg or puree cooked eggs. “If baby doesn’t have any reaction, you can gradually increase the amount,” he says. He also recommends waiting three days before introducing another new food—this way, you can watch for any adverse reaction related to eggs.

Benefits of Eggs for Baby

Eggs are packed with nutrition. “They’re a wonderful source of protein, which are the building blocks of life,” says Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN, a registered dietician and founder of Middleberg Nutrition. “They’re also a fabulous source of healthy fats. Most impressively, they’re one of the best sources of choline, which is essential for brain development.” And that’s not all: Eggs are also good sources of vitamins B6, B12, A, D, E, K, folate and niacin, she adds.

Related Video

How to Prepare Eggs for Baby by Age

When preparing eggs for baby, your approach will likely vary depending on baby’s age, how they handle different textures and shapes and whether you’re doing baby-led weaning or sticking to purees for their first foods.

Middleberg—who’s the author of The Big Book of Organic Baby Food and The Big Book of Organic Toddler Food—says you can follow these general guidelines for serving eggs to baby:

  • 6 months and up: For beginner eaters, you can mash hard-boiled eggs with avocado, breast milk or formula. (You can also puree cooked eggs.) Additionally, you can make a plain omelet for baby and cut it into long strips (about the size of two fingers), so baby can practice holding and eating the strips on their own. Middleberg also suggests making egg-banana “pancakes” by smashing a banana with two eggs and cooking it like you would pancakes.
  • 9 months and up: As a 9-month-old baby’s pincer grasp develops, you can gradually start offering them smaller, bite-sized pieces of dishes like scrambled eggs, so they can practice picking up their food.
  • One year and up: Any and all of the above! Middleberg suggests getting creative by adding cheese or veggies to omelets.

Middleberg says to avoid runny or undercooked eggs for babies, as it can increase the risk of salmonella. Says Ganjian: “Eggs should be cooked until the yolk and white are firm.”

Can Baby Have an Egg Allergy?

About 8 percent of children in the US have food allergies, and egg allergy affects about 1.3 percent of children under 5, notes the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. This makes it the second most common allergy in young children after cow’s milk.

But that’s not a reason to delay the introduction of potential allergens: Again, studies show that early exposure to allergens can help prevent allergies. “Research is really strong in showing that early and consistent (i.e. multiple times a week), is key for healthier outcomes when it comes to allergies,” says Middleberg.

If you’re concerned about an egg allergy in baby, Middleberg recommends working with a pediatric allergist, who can help introduce egg to baby for their first time in their office. “The good news is that the majority of babies with an egg allergy outgrow it,” she says.

Baby Egg Allergy Signs and Symptoms

Signs of egg allergy in baby can include:

  • Hives
  • Rash
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

While severe reactions such as anaphylaxis are uncommon, Middleberg says to call 911 if you observe any of the following:

  • Swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pale or bluish skin
  • Sudden fatigue or going limp
  • Non-stop vomiting

Eggs are an excellent first food for baby—they’re versatile, easy-to-eat and nutritionally packed with goodness. And while serving any potential allergen—from eggs to cow’s milk to peanut butter—can make new parents nervous, introducing allergens can be beneficial. Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about introducing eggs to baby, make sure to call your pediatrician.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

Sources

Daniel Ganjian, MD, FAAP, a pediatrician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, CA. He has a special interest in fighting childhood obesity with his pediatric expertise and as a certified personal trainer. He received his medical degree from the University of California, Irvine.

Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CDN, is the founder of Middleberg Nutrition, a New York City-based health and wellness practice. She’s also the bestselling author of The Big Book of Organic Baby Food, The Big Book of Organic Toddler Food and the forthcoming The Big Book of Pregnancy Nutrition.

American Academy of Pediatrics, Starting Solid Foods, August 2022

Canadian Medical Association Journal, Food Introduction and Allergy Prevention in Infants, November 2015

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, A Better Understanding of Egg Allergy in US Children, May 2020

Cureus, Food Allergy Prevention: Early Versus Late Introduction of Food Allergens in Children, January 2022

save article
ADVERTISEMENT

Next on Your Reading List

quaker oats recall 2024
Quaker Issues Recall of Various Products Due to Salmonella Risk
By Wyndi Kappes
apple cinnamon applesauce pouches recall 2023
Applesauce Pouches Tainted With Lead Sicken Over 50 Children, FDA Says
By Wyndi Kappes
wrapped kraft singles american cheese recall
Why Over 83,000 Cases of Kraft Singles Have Been Recalled
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Packaged Baby Foods-hero
Best Baby Food: Jars, Pouches, Cereals and Snacks
By Martina Garvey
baby being fed baby food
Study Finds Heavy Metals Still Found in Popular Baby Foods
By Wyndi Kappes
gerber baby formula recall march 2023
Voluntary Recall Issued for Gerber Good Start SoothePro Formula
By Wyndi Kappes
spoon in peanut butter jar
Earlier Intro of Peanuts Cuts Allergy Risk by 77 Percent, Study Says
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
Enfamil ProSobee Simply Plant-Based Infant Formula Recalled
The Makers of Enfamil Recall 145,000 Cans of Plant-Based Formula
By Wyndi Kappes
mother feeding baby food to baby at home
The FDA Proposes New Limits on Lead in Baby Food
By Wyndi Kappes
father handing his son a peanut butter and jelly sandwich at the park
National Sandwich Day: Can You Guess American Kids' Sandwich Faves?
By Wyndi Kappes
ADVERTISEMENT
capri sun wild cherry pouches recall 2022
Capri Sun Recalls 230,000 Wild Cherry Pouches Over Contamination
By Wyndi Kappes
Amara baby food
Best Baby Food: Amara
By The Bump Editors
Dads feeding their baby, baby food at kitchen table.
U.S. Lawmakers Are Finally Introducing a New Bill on Baby Food Safety
By Nehal Aggarwal
ADVERTISEMENT
Three baby food jars of varying kinds.
FDA Announces New Actions to Reduce Toxic Elements in Baby Food
By Nehal Aggarwal
hands using blender to make healthy fruit based baby food
Pediatricians Weigh in: What to Know About Heavy Metals in Baby Food
By Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH
Parent feeding baby spoonful of baby food while baby his its mouth open.
These Leading Baby Food Brands Contain High Levels of Toxic Metals
By Nehal Aggarwal
Summer barbecue vegetable kebabs foods to avoid when pregnant
Summer Foods to Avoid While Pregnant
By Cassie Kreitner
ADVERTISEMENT
how to protect child with severe allergies, mom and toddler outdoors
Top 5 Tips for Keeping Kids With Food Allergies Safe
By Dina DiMaggio, MD, and Anthony F. Porto, MD, MPH
happy baby eating solid foods in high chair
What Solids Should I Feed Baby, and When?
By Bonnie Vengrow
baby shark releases breakfast cereal
Baby Shark Cereal Swims Into Stores Next Month
By Stephanie Grassullo
ADVERTISEMENT
Article removed.
Article removed.
Name added. View Your List