Eggcetera

Childhood is a time when the body is growing and developing, so nutritional needs are particularly important. If you’re looking for a nutrient dense food then look no further than eggs. They provide a number of essential nutrients including folate, Vitamin A, iron, iodine, zinc, and omega-3s.

Most importantly, they are a great source of protein, essential for young, growing bodies. Protein is necessary for the generation and regeneration of cells in the body. Egg protein supplies all the essential amino acids, the building blocks for hormones, skin, tissues, and more. Because our body cannot make amino acids on its own, we have to get them from food. Compared to say, meat, eggs are relatively easy to digest, so we absorb the protein well.

Eggs for brekkie

People say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When kids eat breakfast their memory is better and they find it easier to concentrate. Eating a protein-rich breakfast (eg, one with eggs) has extra benefits such as lower hunger levels throughout the morning and helping kids to manage their appetite better for the rest of the day.

Below are key nutrients in eggs and how much they contribute to the recommended dietary intake of these nutrients for children.

Nutrient       Amount in 2 x 60g eggs %RDI %RDI Functions
    4-8 years 9-13 years  
Protein 12.7g 64% 32%-36% Synthesis of body cells, tissues, enzymes, hormones, and antibodies
Vitamin A 239mg 60% 40% Growth, cell differentiation, and eyesight development
Folate 97mg 49% 32%

Growth, maintenance of healthy cells

Zinc 0.5mg 13% 8% Developing muscles and internal organs, immune function
Iron 1.7mg 17% 20% Healthy blood cells, promoting growth
Iodine 43mg 48% 36% Mental development, metabolism
Long-chain omega-3s 114mg 207% 163% Infant growth and development, behaviour, attention and learning

 

Tips for getting eggs into kids and vice-versa

  • Hard-boiled eggs are an easy-to-pack snack
  • French toast, which is coated in eggs, provides nutrients and taste
  • Mashed eggs in a whole wheat tortilla is a big hit with kids
  • Frittatas, omelettes, and quiches are good vehicles for eggs and as an added benefit you can easily sneak in some veggies!
  • An egg sandwich on whole wheat or oat-bran toast gets fibre into the diet

For more information go to:

Egg Nutrition Council. Eggs and children. (Accessed 22 Dec, 2016, at http://tinyurl.com/jyx2xmb).

MomJunction. (Accessed 22 Dec, 2016, at http://tinyurl.com/zkpynck).

Hoyland A, et al. Nutr Res Rev 2009;22:220-43.

Baum JI, et al. J Nutr 2015;145:2229-35.

Leidy HJ, et al. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;97:677-88.

National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines.