Eggs & Reflux
What’s in a hen’s egg? Hen’s eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vitellus (egg yolk), contained within various thin membranes. The most popular choice for egg consumption are chicken eggs. Other popular choices for eating egg are duck and quail. They supply all essential amino acids for humans and several vitamins / minerals in significant amounts of the Daily Value, including retinol (vitamin A), riboflavin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B12, choline and phosphorus. Vitamins A and D are in the egg yolk. The egg white consists primarily of water (87%) and protein (13%) and contains no cholesterol and little, if any, fat.
What does it do for my baby’s body? Eggs are good for the eyes, due to the carotenoid content. One egg yolk has about 300 micrograms of choline, a nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system. Despite eggs being high in fat, it is the right kind of fat. One egg contains just 5 grams of fat and only 1.5 grams of that is saturated fat. Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin D (to absorb calcium and promote bone growth). Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their high sulphur content and wide array of vitamins and minerals.
Should I give Egg when my baby has infant reflux? One of the most common food allergies in infants is eggs. Infants usually grow out of this allergy during childhood, if exposure is controlled. Allergic reactions against egg white are more common than reactions against egg yolks. Recommendations for introducing eggs to babies have been changing recently. It is the white of the egg that is allergenic and not the yolk.
Many studies are now suggesting that babies may be introduced to whole eggs from the start (for those with no known history of food allergies and/or egg allergies in the family). Many paediatricians say that introducing egg yolks are typically fine for <the non-allergic> baby around 8 months old; although this recommendation is changing and many doctors suggest that egg yolks, and the whole egg, make a great first baby food.
Given this information, cooked whole egg and egg yolk should be fine to give your refluxing baby, as it is easily digested and where no allergies are suspected, should provide plenty of nutrients for a baby who struggles to gain weight.
Fun fact: Just imagine… the nutrients in an Egg are enough to turn a single fertilised yolk into an entire baby chicken. That’s a lot of nutrients!