Feeding babies just got a little easier. New infant feeding guidelines released from Health Canada, list whole eggs (yes, that’s the white and the yolk) as first foods for babies 6 months of age, provided there is no history of food allergies. It turns out, there is no evidence that holding off on giving egg whites prevents allergies (again, provided there is no history of food allergies). If you are having eggs, your baby can too. Here are some tips:
- Offer fully cooked, plain eggs
- Avoid added salt, sugar or fats
- Start with a puréed consistency that can run off a spoon. Think store bought applesauce. Adding a little water or breast milk helps as does using a manual baby food mill or grinder. Move on to thicker purees, then mashed without lumps and mashed with soft lumps.
- Start with a tablespoon (15 mL) and see how that goes.
- Give two-three days in between trying new foods to check for any reaction.
It’s not just eggs that can be introduced at 6 months, meats, (especially iron-rich beef and dark poultry), low-mercury fish (remove or mash soft bones), tofu and legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas) can also be introduced. Of course, breast milk remains the most important source of nutrition for babies and infant cereals continue to also be recommended first foods. Be sure to offer your baby iron-rich foods two or more times a day to help ensure they get enough iron. If you have a baby, talk to your health care provider to find out more. Carol