Are Eggs Good For Kids?

I know some moms that are hesitant to give their kids too many eggs. I am not one of them because I think they are nature's perfect food. However some people fear that they will be priming their child's arteries with too much cholesterol at an early age or set them up for bad eating habits later.

 Wondering if these moms have a point I decided to look up some dietary guidelines about the matter.  General dietary recommendations from the American Heart Association are that adults eat no more than 3-4 eggs yolks each week.  Of course that is for adults. Surprise! Surprise! There aren’t any formal recommendations for children. However these doctors do recommend that children limit their intake of cholesterol to 300mg each day.

Since an egg contains about 213mg of cholesterol then it seems that you should give your child no more than one egg a day. However eggs are rich in everything that your kid needs to grow. I think it is okay to give a child one egg seven days a week.  Avoiding them altogether would be a terrible mistake. In addition to being high in cholesterol, eggs also have a lot of benefits, including being high in protein, iron, biotin, minerals and B vitamins. 

I also looked up what the American Food Pyramid has to say about eggs. In the U.S. and Canadian pyramids, eggs are a part of the Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans and Nuts food group. Younger children, aged 2-6, should get two servings from this food group each day, while older children can have 2-3 servings. Of course if you are worried about cholesterol the key is to look at where your child might be getting cholesterol from other food groups. For instance if your kid is eating a ton of cheese, ice cream or even avocadoes then that one egg a day in the diet might be overkill.  However if your child's diet is low in saturated fats and he routinely eats a lot of foods with fiber then eating an egg every day is probably just fine. 

Eggs are still one of the most economical and healthy sources of protein a mother can buy so I just can't find it within myself to advise anyone to limit them from a kid's diet. Some nutritionists count your egg intake as being part of foods that also contain eggs. For instance if your kid has a slice of cake that was made with eggs then you are supposed to count the eggs used to make the cake as part of the daily egg consumption.  The logic is that if it took eight eggs to make the cake and your kid has one slice then that would be his egg quota for the day! This is too complicated for me.  I think it goes without saying that if your child is eating a lot of custard or that kind of thing that he or she should be limited in terms of how many eggs that are eaten a week. Like anything this is all about balance!