Eggs (from chicken, duck, quail, and other fowl) may be introduced as soon as baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age.
Fun fact: Because the yolk of duck eggs is larger—and larger in proportion to the egg white—duck eggs are more nutritious than chicken eggs.
Zuri, 9 months, eats hard-boiled duck egg for the first time
Jasmin, 13 months, tries hard-boiled duck egg
Adie, 19 months, tastes a hard-boiled duck egg
Yes! Duck eggs (and eggs in general) are a terrific source of fat and protein, plus they contain lots of iron and even some zinc—two nutrients that babies really need to thrive.
In fact, eggs (particularly the yolks) contain almost every vitamin (with the exception of vitamin C) and duck eggs have tons of selenium and B-vitamins, especially vitamin B12. Eggs are also one of the best sources of cholesterol and choline—two important nutrients for bone building, brain development, and cellular growth. Best of all: eggs are one of the only food sources of vitamin D, which helps our bodies absorb calcium to power bone growth.
Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods that you can give to your baby, but be careful that they are fully cooked before serving. Eggs may contain salmonella, which can result in a bacterial disease in the intestinal tract.
They can be. The best preparation of eggs for babies starting solids is via an omelet, which not only reduces the risk of choking compared to, say, a hard boiled egg, but integrates the nutritious yolk into each bite.
For more information, visit our section on gagging and choking and familiarize yourself with common choking hazards.
Yes. Eggs are among the top food allergens—second only to milk. That said, it is estimated that only 2% of children have an egg allergy. Fortunately, many children outgrow egg allergies.
When you are introducing eggs to your baby for the first time, it’s best to start with a small quantity, for example, letting your baby munch on one small slice of an omelet for a small amount of time, such as a minute or two. Some babies have severe reactions to even the smallest amount of eggs, so watch carefully for signs of an allergy or sensitivity.
Allergic reactions vary, from watery eyes, hives, rashes, wheezing, itching, facial swelling, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and tummy cramps. If the reaction is severe, and/or if your baby is flushed or having trouble breathing, call 9-1-1 immediately, as your baby may be experiencing anaphylactic shock.
While fear of food allergies seems to be at an all-time high, modern science is demonstrating the benefits of introducing food allergens as soon as your baby is ready to start solids. For more detailed information on how to introduce common food allergens, check out our guide, Introducing Allergens to Babies.
Every baby develops on their own timeline, and the suggestions on how to cut or prepare particular foods are generalizations for a broad audience. Your child is an individual and may have needs or considerations beyond generally accepted practices. In determining the recommendations for size and shape of foods, we use the best available scientific information regarding gross, fine, and oral motor development to minimize choking risk. The preparation suggestions we offer are for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for child-specific, one-on-one advice from your pediatric medical or health professional or provider. It is impossible to fully eliminate all risk of a baby or child choking on any liquid, puree, or food. We advise you to follow all safety protocols we suggest to create a safe eating environment and to make educated choices for your child regarding their specific needs. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read or seen here.
Make an omelet (making sure the egg inside is fully cooked and not runny) and cut rectangular strips for your baby to hold with their fist. To encourage self-feeding, hand the egg strip to your baby in the air. Once your baby’s pincer grasp develops (where the thumb and pointer finger meet), move on to the next stage. At this age you can also incorporate egg into any dish as long as the egg is well cooked.
Continue with rectangular omelet strips until your baby’s pincer grasp forms (where the thumb meets the pointer finger) at which point you can cut those same strips into little bite size squares. This is also an excellent time to introduce hard-boiled eggs (quarter or slice in thin rounds with an egg slicer) and egg salad.
At this age you may find yourself not thinking about how to serve eggs because your baby has gotten so good at eating them! Note that it’s not uncommon for babies who once loved eggs as 6 month olds to stop eating eggs after their first birthday. Some suggest this may be an increased awareness to the smell. If this happens to you, don’t worry and try introducing eggs in fun shapes, using cookie cutters, muffin tins, and other fun presentations.
If your menu could use a refresh, check out our 100 Dinners for Babies & Toddlers.
Not sure how to introduce this food? Give this recipe a try. Feel free to substitute ingredients and flavor the food with your favorite seasonings.
Place a few duck eggs in a small saucepan and cover completely with water. Cover the pan and bring the water to a gentle boil, and then turn off the heat. Let the pan sit, covered, for 10 minutes more. Transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice or ice water.
Once cool, peel the shell and cut each egg in half. Scoop out the yolks into a bowl, and place the whites on a baby plate.
Add a dollop or two of mayonnaise to the bowl with the yolks, then mash and stir until the mixture is smooth and there are no lumps.
Fill each egg half with a dollop of the yolk mixture. Serve and enjoy the mess!
Eggs pair well with almost anything! Try adding veggies, mushrooms, and a variety of cheeses to your omelets and serve alongside salmon, asparagus, and sautéed greens.
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