They are an 'egg'-cellent reservoir of nutrients. Not only do eggs provide high-quality proteins, vitamins and minerals, they are also inexpensive and easy to cook.
By Shiny Surendran
"Love and eggs are best when they are fresh" — Russian proverb
There is a reason why eggs have been consumed by humans for thousands of years. They are an important part of a child's diet because their high nutrient value and an easy way to boost her physical and mental health. Whole eggs are wholesome, nutritious and easily digestible. They are rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, fat-soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids.
Children between the age of 5 and 18 years can have 2–3 eggs per day. Eating eggs daily does not result in any adverse health effects, unless an individual is allergic to them. However, there must be a balance between the protein consumed from eggs and the intake of fruits and vegetables. And, contrary to popular belief, the egg yolk does not affect the cholesterol levels in the body.
This is reiterated by the study, ‘Eggs not linked to cardiovascular risk, despite conflicting advice’, by the University of Sydney and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in the year 2018. It states that consumption of eggs has little effect on the levels of cholesterol in the blood of the people eating them.
The American Heart Association recommends 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol (unsaturated fats) per day. This can include eggs, nuts, fish, avocados and cold pressed oils. It is important to know that bad cholesterol does not come from these foods, but from junk foods such as burgers, fries and samosas.
During the growing up years, children require optimal nutrients for proper growth and development and a nutrient deficiency at this stage can have adverse effects. This may result in your child being underweight or having stunted growth, as compared to other children of the same age. Therefore, parents must pay attention to the quantity and quality of foods given to the children. In this situation, incorporating egg in the diet on a regular basis is essential for the child.
Apart from the above properties, an egg also contains sulphur and biotin, which promote healthy hairs and nails.
Note: Avidin present in egg whites can lead to symptoms of allergy. A child should be given the egg yolk first and then be introduced to egg whites.
Eggs are familiar, popular and easy to prepare for kids. Here are some healthy ways in which you can incorporate eggs in your child's daily diet.
There are many types of eggs available in the market. Choose free-range hen’s eggs, which are the best for human consumption. Inspect each egg properly before buying it. Ensure there are no cracks in the eggshell.
There are a lot of misconceptions regarding eggs. Remember, including two to three eggs in your child’s daily diet improves her physical and mental growth.
The author is a well-known sports nutritionist and the first Indian to be certified with Graduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition by International Olympic Committee.
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