World Egg Day: Children between the age of one to five years are advised to consume one egg per day.
Dr Seema Khanna
Eggs are superfoods for Indian “eggetarians”. A whole white egg contains all the nutrients needed to turn a single cell into an entire chicken. The protein of the egg is considered as reference protein. An egg gives seven grams of protein and all essential amino acids—leucine, iso-leucine, tryptophan, methionine, histidine, lysine—and antioxidants. Most importantly, an egg yolk contains B vitamins and cholesterol.
In children, eggs can be started after the completion of nine months. Proteins of the eggs are well-absorbed and good for the development of the brain. Soft-boiled eggs (boiling at six minutes) are well digested in children. Eggs contain choline (an essential amino acid), which is important during the growth period for the membrane of cells. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, important for early brain development and cognitive memory and is also important for healthy bones.
Choose cooked eggs over raw
Regular consumption of egg helps in maintaining healthy weight. Raw eggs do have all the same benefits as cooked eggs. But, protein absorption is low in raw eggs. Egg yolks provide a good source of biotin (a B vitamin) but raw egg whites contain the protein avidin, preventing the absorption of biotin. In a cooked egg, this protein is denatured increasing the absorption of B vitamin. A raw egg is a potential source of salmonella infection.
Benefits of eggs for kids
Children between the age of one to five years are advised to consume one egg per day. The antioxidants present in eggs are good for the retina of the eye, reducing the risk of diseases like macular degeneration. Eggs are also known for their delayed gastric emptying which means eggs are filling.
Children with egg allergies should opt for substitutes like cottage cheese, soy paneer or tofu, almonds, flax seeds and chia seeds with a combination of pulses. Flax seeds and chia seeds can be powdered and mixed with flours can be given to children in the form of chapattis and pooris.
Eggs can be given in different forms, the most common being boiled, baked, scrambled. Other forms can be poached eggs and french toast. Now, hidden forms can be mixing eggs with flours, adding in noodles, adding with hot milk (egg nog), egg sandwiches, egg curry, egg salad, egg chapatti rolls, scrambled soft boiled egg with paneer.
Try these egg recipes
These recipes can be given to children as they are snazzy, yet highly nutritious forms of eggs.
Take warm milk in a pan. Immerse it in a pan filled with boiling hot water. Pour a beaten egg in the pan filled with milk. Stir the mixture continuously till it becomes thick. Pour the thick milk in a glass and it is ready to drink.
Egg Chapatti Rolls
Make a triangle parantha and pour a beaten egg mixed with veggies inside the parantha. As the parantha cooks, the egg will also cook. The roll is ready to savour.
Scrambled soft-boiled egg
Boil an egg for 6-7 minutes. After peeling, scramble the egg and add a few drops of lemon, crushed pudhina leaves, 20 gm paneer and mix it well.
(The writer is a clinical nutritionist.)