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Eggs are Recommended as a Nutrient-Rich 'First Food'

Eggs are Recommended as a Nutrient-Rich 'First Food'

Eggs are for everyone, including babies and toddlers, according to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that released its Scientific Report outlining nutritional recommendations for Americans. For the first time, this committee, comprised of leading doctors and nutrition scientists, included nutritional guidance for younger children.

Veggie Egg Casserole

Veggie Egg Casserole

The committee recommends eggs as a first food for babies and toddlers since they provide eight essential nutrients that can help build a healthy foundation for life at a time when every bite counts.

Eggs provide nutrition for children and moms-tobe, as well. However, the report found most pregnant women and kids need more choline – an essential nutrient critical for brain health – in their diets.

According to research published in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” 92% of pregnant women don’t get enough choline in their diets. Choosing foods high in choline, like eggs, can help pregnant women consume enough of this essential nutrient, helping a baby’s brain and spinal cord develop properly. Just two eggs provide more than half of the recommended daily amount of choline.

At only 70 calories, one egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all nine essential amino acids. Eggs are also a source of vitamin B12, biotin (B7), iodine, selenium, high-quality protein, riboflavin (B2) and pantothenic acid (B5). Additionally, eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin that can help protect your eyes from harmful blue light that comes from electronic devices.

Lots of parents worry about possible food allergies in their little ones. The committee recommends introducing eggs when your baby is ready for first foods, which may help reduce the chances of developing an egg allergy.

 In Your Kitchen

Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse that contribute to health and well-being at every age, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy eggs beyond the basic boiled, scrambled or sunny-side-up. In fact, eggs work well in meals all day long. Toss hard-boiled eggs in a salad, top a sweet potato with an egg for lunch or try a spinach and mushroom frittata for dinner.

Baby-friendly Savory Egg Veggie Pancakes pack in nutrients from whatever vegetables you have on hand and offer a savory twist on classic pancakes. You can add extra toppings like avocado or Greek yogurt for a variety of new textures and flavors.

Another simple way to introduce eggs as a first food is a soft and fluffy egg casserole. You can also incorporate veggies for some added nutrition, since eggs can help you better absorb the nutrients found in vegetables, such as vitamin E and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.

You can adapt a Veggie Egg Casserole to your child’s development and motor skills by cutting small squares or making a simple mash.

Find more kid-friendly recipes and advice about introducing eggs to your youngest family members at EggNutritionCenter.org.

Veggie Egg Casserole

Recipe developed by Stacey Mattinson, RD
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 sweet onion
1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
1 head broccoli florets
2 teaspoons canola, avocado or olive oil
12 eggs
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup shredded cheese
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon flour
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray. Chop onion and bell pepper to age-appropriate sizes. Pick apart broccoli florets into small pieces and remove most of stems.

Heat medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and swirl around pan. Add onions and cook 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Add broccoli and bell pepper. Mix with onions and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 1-2 minutes then cover with lid to steam another 2-3 minutes until broccoli is bright green. Remove veggies from stovetop.

In large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add cottage cheese, shredded cheese, baking powder and flour. Add veggies and salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to prepared pan and bake 40 minutes.

Savory Egg Veggie Pancakes

Savory Egg Veggie Pancakes

Savory Egg Veggie Pancakes

Recipe developed by Min Kwon, RD
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1
1/2 teaspoon oil or butter
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk or breastmilk
3 tablespoons cooked or raw
vegetables, chopped or grated
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
1/4 teaspoon herbs or spices, such as 
cinnamon, curry powder, 
cumin, oregano, turmeric, etc. 

In 6-inch nonstick pan, heat butter or oil over medium-low heat, tilting pan to coat bottom. In bowl, beat egg and milk until blended. Add vegetables, flour, flaxseeds and herbs; stir to combine. Pour mixture into heated pan, spread evenly (don’t stir) and cook batter 1 minute, or until bottom starts to set.

Flip and cook other side until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Once cooled, slice into desired shapes and serve.

 Fresh Fruit & Berry Pie is late summer treat


Looking upward on a morning run, I was caught off guard when I spotted branches of leaves that were green, turning to yellow and orange. “Whoa,” I said between breaths, “not yet!”

Knowing full well I can’t change the march of seasons, I decided to intentionally savor remaining summertime pleasures, including berries and tree-ripened peaches, nectarines and plums. My friend Kay Miller’s fabulous summer go-to Fruit and Berry Pie recipe that mingles the sweet flavors came to mind.

Kids can be part of the prep. While your school-age child washes the berries and peels the juicy peaches, a younger sibling can press the simple cookielike crust into a pan. And there’s a lemon or two to juice and zest.

Serve the sun-kissed flavors to rave reviews Labor Day weekend at a family barbecue. The refreshing dessert will taste like summer is here to stay — even if a few leaves are turning to trick us.

For the crust:
1/4 cup soft unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1 cup all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

For the filling:
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups orange juice (pulp free)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
2 cups firm, ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
Whipped cream, for serving

1. Heat oven to 400 F. Grease the sides and base of a 9-inch metal pie pan.

2. To make the crust, mix together the butter, sugar and egg yolk in a mixing bowl. Add the flour and stir until it holds together. Pat it down evenly with your hands in the bottom and partially up the sides of the pie pan. Bake 7-8 minutes, until lightly browned around edges. Set aside and cool.

3. To make the filling, combine the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Slowly add orange juice and mix thoroughly. An adult should turn the stovetop to medium-low heat and stir occasionally until the mixture begins to thicken (about 4-5 minutes) and comes to a boil. Watch carefully. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from burner, add the lemon juice and zest and stir. Let cool.

4. Stir in the fruit and berries, and then spoon the mixture into the pie crust.

5. Chill to set for at least 3 hours before serving. Makes 8 servings.

6. To serve: Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Serve cold, topped with whipped cream.

NOTE: Substitute fruit with nectarines, kiwi or unpeeled plums.


DonnaErickson’sawardwinning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit www.donnasday.com and link to the NEW Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Fun-stuff for Families.”

©2020 Donna Erickson Dist. by King Features Synd.

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