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When can babies eat eggs? Baby takes a spoonful of food from a parent out of frame.
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When & How To Introduce Eggs To Babies

And what parents need to know about egg allergies.

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When you’re pregnant, there are all these rules about what you should and shouldn’t eat. Then, when you have your baby, you feel like you need a handbook for what they can and can’t have. Yogurt? Serve it up. Honey? Totally avoid it, even on Cheerios. Figuring out when to offer foods that can cause allergies is even harder. So, when can babies eat eggs? When it comes to a breakfast scramble or hard-boiled egg at lunch, it’s safe for babies to have eggs sooner than you may think.

When can babies eat eggs?

“The recommendation is that babies can start trying eggs at around 6 months,” says Katherine Shary, RD, LD, registered dietician from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life program. “Eggs have typically been seen as an allergen food, and a baby can start all allergen foods around 6 months of age.”

Some experts might even give you the green light to start introducing eggs to your baby at 4 months. “Babies can safely eat eggs at around 4 to 6 months of age when they are ready to start eating solid foods in general,” says Stephanie Mitchell, pediatric clinical dietician at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

This 6-month milestone might concern parents who remember old medical guidance about avoiding allergy-related foods, like peanuts, in the first year of life. But that’s not what doctors and dietitians recommend anymore.

What are common allergen foods

Aside from eggs, the other most common allergenic foods include cow’s milk, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, gluten, and soy. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says these foods are the cause of 90% of food allergies in children.

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What about egg allergies?

The AAP changed its stance on avoiding allergenic foods after a 2015 study revealed that eating these foods early in life made babies less likely to become allergic to them. Today, the AAP says after your baby has tried a few other foods, it’s OK to dive in to the allergenic ones, like eggs.

“You do not [have to], nor should you delay introducing eggs or any other top allergens. Although, since eggs are a top allergen, it is best to start with other foods that are less allergenic, like fruits or vegetables — bananas, peas, sweet potatoes, squash, and baby cereals. Once your baby has shown that they are tolerating the initial solid foods offered, it is OK to move on to offering eggs,” Mitchell says.

“Waiting longer than six months when introducing allergen foods to a baby can actually increase the risk of developing that allergy if we wait too long to introduce it,” Shary says. “Introducing it a little bit earlier around that 6-month-old mark helps to reduce the risk of developing that allergy later on. The only caveat here is if a family has a severe egg allergy or eczema, they should talk with their pediatrician first before offering eggs. But if a family doesn't have that, then offering a child the egg yolk or the egg white is perfectly fine around 6 months of age.”

When asked about the eggs-to-eczema connection, Shary says the egg white protein has been linked to eczema flare-ups.

When you’re serving your little one any food for the first time, Mitchell recommends giving it to them alone so you can monitor them for any signs of an allergic reaction. “Offer all new foods, including eggs, by themselves first, and check for any reactions to all new foods. If your child has any reactions to any foods offered, please see your pediatrician for allergen testing.”

What are the signs of an egg allergy in babies?

Wondering what exactly you should be monitoring for? The AAP says symptoms of food allergies include:

  • Skin reactions, like hives, eczema, or swelling
  • Difficulty breathing, including sneezing and wheezing
  • Throat tightness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Pale skin
  • Light-headedness
  • Loss of consciousness

All of this sounds super scary and might make you want to avoid introducing your baby to eggs altogether. Just know that egg allergies affect only 1.3% of children in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. It’s very likely your baby will be totally fine, and find a new food they love to eat (and throw).

How do I introduce eggs to my baby?

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If your little one is 6 months old and ready to see what eggs are all about, there are a couple ways you could serve them their first one. Just consider where your baby is at developmentally — do they like picking up food with their hands, or are they more of a spoon fan?

For finger food babies: “Offer eggs as scrambled eggs to make sure the entire egg is cooked through to kill any bacteria, and so that the eggs are very light and soft, and easier for your baby to chew and swallow,” Mitchell says.

And for those who still prefer a little spoon-feeding assistance: “If we're first starting off with foods for a 6-month-old, we usually recommend offering a hard-boiled egg because a hard-boiled egg is easy to mash up. You can add some water or breast milk or formula to it and it makes kind of a thick puree so it's easy for the baby to swallow,” says Shary. “Then, as they get older we can kind of progress from there.”

How to cook eggs for your baby, & what not to do

As your baby grows and gets better and handling and chewing up food, you can change up how you prepare their eggs. Shary recommends offering scrambled eggs, hard-boiled eggs chopped up, or omelets cut into strips. If you’re concerned about choking hazards and what size you should make the bites of egg, Shary says the pieces should be about a half-inch wide. If you’re serving a hard-boiled egg and worried about the yolk, mash it up and serve it that way instead, she advises.

A note on runny yolks:

Whatever style of egg you make for your baby, just be sure they’re always fully cooked until Baby reaches 5 years old. Shary says there’s no firm guideline about when children can have runny yolks or soft-boiled eggs, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state kids under 5 are at higher risk of catching and getting seriously ill from salmonella.

A note on salt and seasonings:

Oh, and you should skip the salt. “A baby is born with 10,000 taste buds. As adults we have anywhere between 2,000 and 8,000. For a baby, they don't need a whole bunch of extra spices to their food. A baby's kidneys are not fully developed, so they cannot handle excess salt. So, we do not need to salt eggs for a baby. They can have it completely plain,” Shary says.

She adds that if your family wants to use seasonings, to stick to herbs and anything salt- and sugar-free. As for your baby, well, once they start getting a load of your famous omelets, they may never go back to jarred green beans.


Katherine Shary, RD, LD, registered dietician from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life program

Stephanie Mitchell, pediatric clinical dietitian at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

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