Are Raw Egg Yolks Safe for Babies?


Are Raw Egg Yolks Safe for Babies?

So this was supposed to be a post about toddler smoothies, but as I started typing, it digressed into a post about raw eggs.

Are Raw Egg Yolks Safe for Babies?

Last night my husband and I got into an all out brawl because he noticed me putting raw egg yolk into the blender and he was all, “Um, are you putting raw egg yolk in her smoothie?” To which, I replied, “Um, what does it look like?!” Imagine the sarcasm dripping from my lips because I have been putting egg yolk in her smoothie for almost 6 months. SIX MONTHS! He has seen me make it, many a time, and he is JUST now realizing I put raw egg yolk in it?

Oh, Lord Jesus, save me now,  I just might kill him.

Anyway, so then he loses his mind and says that I should have talked to him about putting raw egg in her smoothie before doing it and that he doesn’t think it’s a good idea because she can get salmonella, blah, blah, BLAH.

So then I lose my mind because he is essentially saying I am putting her in harm’s way, and here I am busting my ass to give Penelope 100% perfection in regards to her nutrition. I can’t freaking STAND IT when people make fear based decisions and have not done any research whatsoever to back up their purely emotional reaction. The argument ends with me stamping me feet (seriously) and yelling, “I am RIGHT and you are WRONG!”

I know, I’m so mature, right?

Once I calmed down, I apologized and said I should have known that he would like to have a say in what goes in her smoothie (I love him, but good grief, the man has to have a say about EVERYTHING) and that he needs to do his research and back up his statements before we can have a civilized conversation about what is best for Penelope later.

So now I have to gather my research and present my argument to Peter and all of you get to come along for the ride.

First off, know your source. I would never in a million years give Penelope conventional, industrial raw eggs from the grocery store. Not even regular organic, “free range” eggs. I only give her eggs that I go and pick up myself from the farmer. In a pinch, I will buy farmer eggs from New Leaf, but that rarely happens anymore.

Here’s a quote one of my favorite blogs, Nourished Kitchen:

Raw egg yolk tends to get a bad rap – and it’s unfortunate that consumers have become so fearful of their food. While everyone recognizes potential dangers of food borne illnesses, like salmonella from raw eggs, what they don’t consider is that only about one in every thirty thousand conventional eggs is infected and the incidence is even less among pastured eggs in which hens are kept in optimally healthy conditions: on grass with free access to consume the foods most natural for them. Raw egg yolk, are a potently rich source for two nutrients critical to health: biotin and choline.  They are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, lecithin and enzymes.

Here are a couple of links from the Weston A Price Foundation website:

This one has some information about egg allergies (usually kids are allergic to the egg white, not the yolk) and how many eggs to give a child per day (as many as they want!).

This one talks about how egg yolk supplies cholesterol needed for mental development as well as important sulphur-containing amino acids. Egg yolks from pasture-fed hens or hens raised on flax meal, fish meal or insects are also rich in the omega-3 long-chain fatty acids These fatty acids are essential for the development of the brain. Parents who institute the practice of feeding egg yolk to baby will be rewarded with children who speak and take directions at an early age. The white, which contains difficult-to-digest proteins, should not be given before the age of one year.

This one says that eggs have been a highly valued foods since the beginning of time—eggs from chickens, ducks, geese, turtles and fish. Egg yolks are the richest source of two superstar carotenoids—lutein and zeaxanthin. Not only are bright yellow yolks loaded with these fat-soluble antioxidant nutrients, they are more bioavailable than those found in vegetables, corn and most supplements.While these nutrients have a reputation of combating macular degeneration and cataracts and supporting overall healthy vision, they have a long list of other benefits, including protecting the skin from sun damage and even reducing one’s risk of colon and breast cancer.

Another quote from of one my favorite blogs, The Healthy Home Economist, from her post about The Right Way To Feed Babies, she says:

Children who receive sufficient omega 3 fats in their diet tend to speak clearly and understand verbal direction from the parents at a very early age. I just went back and looked at my children’s baby books and all 3 of them (even the boys) spoke short sentences by 15-17 months of age (with first words at around 7 months).   While these sentences were very simple (“Get that”, “Don’t want that”, “More of this”) I have no doubt that getting ample omega 3′s from their diet played a big part in their ease of communicating at an early age with clear enough diction to be understood by even those outside the family.

This is a quote from a local personal trainer and nutritionist: “raw eggs are soooooooooooooooooooooooo good for you!”

I mean really, do I need to say anything more after that?

Penelope is right on par with her verbal skills, which is pretty awesome, considering almost everyone (professionals we worked with when trying to get her to nurse) told me she would have speech problems from her tongue tie and TMJ.  And she astounds me by how much she understands.  Pretty much everything I say to her she understands completely.  Her perception of what I am saying is 100% right on.  Now, I do spend a fair amount of time talking to her, reading to her, doing baby sign language and other things to build her verbal skills, but I really think the egg yolks play a huge part in her intelligence.

I feel that good nutrition is so important in general, but even more so for the first 3 years.  What she is eating now is setting her up for the rest of her life.  Maybe its a little fanatical, but I think egg yolks are going to make a major difference in her mental success later in life.  I have no doubt in my mind that Penelope will be smarter and more emotionally balanced because she got enough omega- 3 fats in her diet early on.

Ok, ok, but why RAW EGGS you ask?

Heating the yolks destroys some enzymes, reduces certain nutrients and destroys cysteine (amino acid) which helps make glutathione, which is the master antioxidant (and p.s. Protandim also increases glutathione). They are also just plain easier to digest raw.  Raw egg yolk is the perfect complete protein.  Notice I said PERFECT, nothing comes close.

I found this analogy on another blog and I think it explains the difference between raw egg yolk and cooked well:

Imagine a delicate crystal vase. Now imagine someone smashes it with a hammer and then tries to convince you that it is the exact same vase as before they destroyed it because, hey, all the pieces are still there. Well, obviously it’s not the same. It not only looks different, but it can’t perform the important function of holding fluids or displaying the beauty it had prior to being smashed with the hammer. Well, an unheated egg yolk may seem similar to a cooked egg yolk, but it is far more complex and precise. We just don’t appreciate that as we can’t see it at the molecular level. If we could, the picture would be just as clear as with the vase.

So, to my dear husband, while I appreciate your concern for our daughter’s health, and yes I should have asked you first,  please stop acting like I was putting a rice krispy treat and some goldfish in her smoothie.  I have this area of her life under control.  Not only do I have it under control, but what Penelope is eating is very close to absolute perfection. You can thank me now, or thank me later,  as in, when she has a full ride to Stanford Medical school.

And Mamas, if anyone gives you shit, just print this out and stamp your feet!!




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Hiya! I'm Stephanie. Mama and Baby Love is all about helping mothers on their own personal health and healing journey and enjoying life along the way. You can learn more about me and what I'm all about. Sign up for my newsletter for more tips, info and inspiration!

Comments

  1. Acacia @ Fingerpaint & Superheroes says:

    Great post! We eat a ton of farm fresh eggs around here and have been trying to feed them to my 9 month old. He just started eating solids in the last month and eats only what he can old in a big chunk and take bites of. Even then, he's still interested in a limited number of foods. I'm exposing him to a variety of foods regularly but I believe strongly in how important farm fresh pasture eggs are. Any ideas on how I can introduce them in a form he would be likely to eat? I've even tried cooking them just a little to hold form but he still won't touch them.

  2. Cassandra says:

    This post is a perfect example of why I've started following your blog. I get in an argument with my mother probably every other week because she emotionally responds to every single thing I do and it's taken me most of my life (because I was clearly born a Vulcan) to get her to keep her mouth shut long enough for her brain to process what's going on before reacting.

    Thank you for being another shining example of women perfectly capable of using logic to decide things rather than their emotions. Breaking down that stereotype little by little.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Hi Acacia! I started giving Penelope slightly cooked egg at 6 months. I boil water and then put the egg in for about three minutes. Then I put it under cool water to cool it down enough to touch, then crack it open and sort of prick the yolk and the liquid pours out into a bowl. Then I add some salt and spoon fed it to her. She LOVED it! It was the only thing I spoon fed her, because we do Baby Led Weaning. She ate her eggs like this till about 10 or 11 months old and then she started to prefer it hard boiled. At 8 months I started making her smoothies with raw egg yolk and she sipped it from a straw. She just now getting to the point where she will eat a fried egg yolk,so that might be an option too.

    @Cassandra..so glad you are following along! I so much want to get information out there to help Mama's and I am glad somebody is reading!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am Cassandra's mother. Logic may be the new thing with mothers but love is an emotion and not in any way, shape, or form logical. I read your blog today because Cassandra "liked" it on Facebook. It was interesting and full of good information. As she stated, I am trying to read and research things she is doing with my granddaughter before reacting. She is a great mom, I tell her so often, and I don't think she thought I would read what she wrote here today. :)

  5. Cassandra says:

    lulz

  6. My 10 month old gets egg scrambled egg yolk almost every morning! He wasn't really that into it until I started adding just a little bit of cheese. The first time I added cheese he said "Mmm Mmm" the whole time he was eating it. I also love that it's something he can pretty much feed himself.
    I can't quite bring myself to give it to him raw though… could you give us some "starter" smoothie recipes… maybe it won't bother me so much in a smoothie.

  7. My baby is 4 months old and I read an article by dr. Mercola about starting your baby on egg yolk instead of baby cereal because it turns to sugar. So I was doing research and came across this blog. How do I start my child on egg yolk? I am still breast feeding too.

  8. Stephanie says:

    Hi Kraci! Welcome! Glad you found us.
    Cereal is bad, because not only does it turn to sugar, it is hard for babies under age 2 to digest because they do not have enough of the amalazye (digestive enzyme that breaks down carbs).
    To give your baby egg yolk, you boil water. Then put the egg (pastured, organic, etc) in the boiling water for three minutes. Take it out, run it under cool water to cool it down enough to handle it. Break it open, pierce the yolk and let the liquid drain out into a bowl. Add a little salt, and spoon feed to your baby.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

  9. Analena Stern says:

    Thank you soo much for this post. I am currently pregnant and my husband is constantly fighting with me about what I eat – it seriously is a nightmare and makes eating UN-enjoyable for me. I only eat local, organic produce from our local farmers including raw milk. I did stop drinking it because he won't let me. Well at least I did it the first 8 weeks of my pregnancy, so I know the baby got some of the good stuff. As long as you know where your food is coming from you are fine. What they sell in supermarkets is more an issue for me since it is all mass production and you never know where it is coming from.

  10. This is hysterical! And this bit I love:
    "he is essentially saying I am putting her in harms way… AND I can't freaking STAND IT when people make fear-based decisions and have not done any research whatsoever to back up their purely emotional reaction."

    Not only do I eat a primal diet and am trying to get my kid to (mostly ) too – for 100% researched reasons – I'm a first-time mom living in my husband's country and/so raising a bilingual child. Where do you want me to START about the b*llsh*t "advice" and thinly-veiled criticisms I get over how I raise my kid?
    My SIL actually told me that too many eggs would give a person a "soft brain" (I kid you not) and … oh, I won't start on the language stuff. Let's put it this way: at least with food, you have a reasonable expectation that the other person eats and that's the source of their advice, however wonky, but bilingualism? EEEEEEEEverybody has something to say about that. IN THEIR ONE LANGUAGE.
    **pant pant** breeeeeathe.
    Cassandra's mom is right: these are knee-jerk reactions made out of love. I'm just a bit tired of having to be the bigger person who remembers that and reacts in love to tell them to … go away. Lovingly.

  11. Sandrine Hahn says:

    Also, I don't see any of the links to the Weston A. Price Foundation that you mention in your post?

  12. Sandrine Hahn says:

    I posted another comment but, don't think I completed the process correctly. So here is my take 2:

    Thank you so much for your post! I referred to it in a post of mine on Facebook today: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150336886690172

    We are big fans or raw egg yolks from pastured eggs!

    Sandrine Hahn
    Nourishing Our Children, Executive and Creative Director
    http://www.nourishingourchildren.org

  13. how do the smoothies taste?

  14. Haha I love what you said to your husband while stamped your feet. Thanks for the additional reading, too. I put raw egg yolk in my boy's smoothies, but I didn't start that until recently, and he's three. I wish I had known more about how to feed babies when he was a baby!

  15. Stephanie says:

    @Analena..so sorry to hear that! I hope you can start drinking raw milk again. Maybe show your husband this post??
    @Lauren..so glad you enjoyed the post! I love making people laugh! And oh man, your situation does not sound fun. We almost moved to Chile last summer and I was terrified about not having access to good food or mom friends that would not think I was a nut case for our lifestyle.
    @Sandrine Hahn…I just highlighted them in black and bold, sorry about that. And thanks so much for posting this on your facebook page. Thank YOU for all your hard work, you are doing amazing things!
    @Anonymous…they taste the same to me. Sometimes I can get a slurp that has a little bit different texture, because I didn't mix the egg up well enough. I can only handle one egg in mine, but my daughter gets two and still slurps it down.

  16. My son is 23 now but I cringe at the way his very tradtitional father and I fought over food…I can't bear to think about it. Fighting over it wasn't so great either, nothing was accomplished until we treated each others point of view very respectfully, but I digress…Did I miss the recipes for raw yolks? Maybe they are just incorporated into other rescipes?

  17. Stephanie says:

    @Lore..I didn't have a recipe in this post, but I put raw egg yolks into her fruit smoothies. I know other people put it in milk and make a type of shake, with vanilla.

  18. I commend all you women who have to put up with men who are finicky about nutrition and food. My husband gives me free reign and then washes the dishes after! But I've found I'm very lucky.
    A caution on the egg yolks, I tried that with my third baby as I was just starting to experiment with "new" nutrition and it did not work for her. I tried it twice and she vomited repeatedly both times. I think she was around 7 months so maybe it was too early for her. I soft boiled the egg and fed her the soft yolk. Anyhow, I don't know why she reacted like that but I didn't do it again. So, while it may be great for most babies, it may not work for all. Later, after a year old she was able to eat scrambled eggs just fine.

  19. just loved your blog, my daughter cara is 6 months now n i wz confused abt the egg myths around, glad i found you
    . . . . .

  20. While I appreciate the benefits of raw egg yolks, I truly hope your readers search for *medically* researched facts on the dangers of raw eggs and salmonella. The risk is small, but of reported salmonella cases, about 1/3rd die. Whether contracted from raw milk or raw eggs, if the chance is 1 in 30,000 that your baby might become infected, why, why, why risk it?

    Please, educate yourself. http://avmajournals.avma.org/doi/pdf/10.2460/javma.2002.221.492

    • I have not read the study that you linked to, but I bet it a study based on industrial chicken farms and not on local, pastured, free range chickens. As I stated in this post, I would never, in a million years, give my daughter a raw egg from regular eggs or even regular, organic eggs. The incidence of salmonella is very, very rare when you get eggs from local farmers that use good farming techniques and conditions.

      • Fitzpatrick says:

        I’m so glad to see your post on here, Tiffany! People should definately be aware of the risks associated with consuming raw eggs, especially for such young children who are often much more susceptible to diseases than an average healthy adult!
        Stephanie – Based on your reply to this post, I’m not sure you understand the concepts of egg farming and how salmonella can be spread. I don’t mean to sound rude or condescending, but even eggs from local farmers can carry salmonella! If feces come into contact with the egg, there is a risk of salmonella, regardless of the condition of the farm, etc. Of course, the risk increases if the egg rests in an area contaminated with feces. So in that regard, what you call “regular eggs” are probably the least likely to carry salmonella, since they roll out from under the chickens as soon as they’re laid. Here’s a decent article about various housing situations for chickens: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2008/08/10/20080810valdez10.html
        Make your own decisions, but make sure you’re not ignoring the facts that fail to support your opinion. Salmonella is very rare regardless of where eggs come from, but I don’t believe it’s significantly different between a factory farm with battery cages and a local farm. Obviously I’d rather support my local farmer than a megafarm operation, but that has exactly nothing to do with disease. A risk is a risk is a risk.

        • Commercial eggs are washed clean of their natural outer lining that exposes the pourous egg shell to the air, and therefore also any pathogens sitting on it that may get inside. Most organic, free-range type farmers do not do this. In fact, if eggs go unwashed, they are even safe to leave sitting on the kitchen counter for weeks before going bad. So even IF a truly free-range chicken manages to get enough salmonella-ridden feces tacked on its egg-dropping end and then deposits that feces onto the egg, the egg remains protected as long as it is unwashed.

          Furthermore, I would like to direct you to the Death section of the Salmonella wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmonella
          Most infection comes from the outside of the shell and it is extremely unlikely that the inside of the egg will become contaminated, even though it is technically possible. The risk of infection comes from improper handling of the outside of the eggs, not the eggs themselves.

          Lastly, and probably most importantly, you fail to give credit to this magical thing we have called THE IMMUNE SYSTEM. Not only are healthy free-range chickens extremely unlikely to even get salmonella because of their own healthier immune system from living in healthy conditions, the same exact thing is true for humans. When one eats healthy food, oh, you know, like nutrient-rich raw egg yolks, one develops a healthy immune system that, even if one were to get sick, recovery is quick and it will decidedly NOT lead to death, even in children. Sure, a risk is a risk is a risk, but the benefits of raw egg yolk far out weigh any risks.

          • One of my concerns is and I know this might sound very uninformed of me to ask but what if something does happen and my child dies from eating raw eggs. My husband and I eat them but I have always been worried about feeding them to my girls who are 19 mo and 3 yrs old. I have heard you can wash the eggs and of course know your source which I do and I feel they are safe but could we get in trouble legally if God for bid something should happen?

          • Cassandra says:

            Parents get in trouble with CPS and other state agencies all the time for subjective matters. I personally know a mother who was threatened by a CPS agent because when the agent came, she was in the middle of doing laundry and the beds did not have sheets on them. She could have had her children taken away because at that specific moment in time, sheets were not on the beds. And if the CPS agent chose to make good on those threats (and abuse her power imo), that mother would have had to get a lawyer and go through a huge ordeal just to get her kids back over missing bed sheets.

            Technically speaking you could get in trouble for feeding your child organic produce that has not been irradiated for e.coli left by animal droppings (one of the biggest e.coli outbreaks came from fresh strawberries). You could get in trouble for allowing your child to play in mud puddles on a farm that might have animal droppings mixed in with the dirt. Some people out there believe that giving birth at home and not vaccinating should be grounds for removing a child from the home. It all depends on whatever the agenda is of whoever might be involved in such a case.

  21. Concerned reader says:

    I really enjoy your blog and have given this post a lot of thought but I must caution you that eating eggs and meat from pastured and free range chicken has NOT been found to reduce the risk of salmonella poisoning. In fact, there are some indications that consuming uncooked eggs from free range chickens may be a riskier practice than eating eggs from commercially farmed chickens.

    Here’s a quote from a fully researched and cited article in the Journal of Food Protection (available here: http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/36509/1/IND44295179.pdf) “One example of this increased risk of exposure to Salmonella from free-range chickens was reported by Parry and coworkers (9), who evaluated the risk factors for Salmonella food poisoning in domestic kitchens in Wales. They found that only the consumption of raw eggs and the handling of free-range eggs were significant risk factors. These results suggest that Salmonella was more prevalent in eggs from free-range chickens than in eggs from commercial chickens.”

    Most of your citations supporting this practice come from the Weston A. Price Foundation, which has been criticized for “failing to update their recommendations in light of contradictory evidence.” (Referenced here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304370304575151663770115120.html)

    You’re obviously a very dedicated mother and your daughter is adorable and the picture of health, so I’m sure you are making the right decisions for her and your family. I really am not trying to criticize you in any way, I just wanted to submit this information for your consideration. All the best to you!

    • Thanks for your concern and very kind way of commenting. I had my blog assistant (she is extremely knowledgeable about Real Food and WAPF) help me research the links you posted. This is what she had to say and I agree with her.

      The first one is a review of the study of raw chicken meat, not eggs. The only thing it says about eggs is a note about a study in Wales that more people had exposure to salmonella through pastured eggs than factory eggs (it wasn’t traced to eggs, just correlated), so that prompted them to test raw chicken meat as well. It states that because pastured chickens have more exposure to bacteria in the wild, they’re more likely to retain bacterias, especially in a completely organic set up where animal manure is being used to grow vegetables.

      The second one is just a link to an article about the government’s war on raw milk. Not exactly evidence.

      A study done by the USDA in support of factory farms is extremely suspicious. You’re not likely to find studies on the benefits of organic, home grown food because there’s no money to be made in it. Ignoring government ties to companies is dangerous. It’s the same reason why you don’t see very many “legitimate” studies about GMOs or pollution or pesticides. With that said, when you buy directly from a farm, as in you visit them, you see the chickens with your own eyes, you shake the hand of the farmer, you’re being exposed to the same bacteria as the chickens before you ever eat a thing. This is why farmers, since humans first started doing agriculture, could eat “dirty” food and not get sick. It’s one of the reasons people choose to give birth at home and breastfeed and why some choose not to vaccinate. You get natural immunity through healthy exposure. Raw honey and allergies is another great example. A lot of the people who get sick from raw foods do so because they’re buying from a store. Government regulation can not make up for human contact. You don’t need peer reviewed studies to understand the inherent safety of eating real food that has stood the test of time, including raw eggs. You just have to understand the differences between factory food and farm fresh food that goes beyond what can be studied in a lab.

  22. Danielle says:

    To all those mama’s out there looking for ways to incorporate raw egg into their children’s diets, for my (now 17 month old) son I would make him egg-rice for breakfast. You crack a raw egg over warm rice and mix into a pudding/slurry. This is a very common Japanese breakfast, you could also make a version of Sukiyaki (google it) and you dip the meat and veggies in a beaten raw egg. There are a lot of recipes in Japan that incorporate raw egg into the meal if you search them out. My son loves all of them and I’m so happy to have found this blog post so I don’t feel so taboo feeding him my families traditional meals.

  23. Stephanie, I was wondering if you can give me tips on how to get my 13 month old to eat eggs. Should I just give him a boiled egg yolk? I made your smoothie today, I did not have an egg to put in it but he loved it. I will be getting eggs from the farm tomorrow so I will introduce raw egg that way. Do I just put the yolk in the smoothie or the whole egg? My son is so smart already, but if I can help make him smarter just my what I feed him, then I am so in!

  24. It is said, that blending a raw egg is not healthy. The chemical breakdown changes the health benefits. I agree with giving babies raw eggs but I would hand blend into the shake after the shake is made.

    • I do hand blend the eggs. If you note from the post, I add the eggs the day I give the smoothie. So I only blend fruit in the blender, portion the smoothie out into the mason jars, then take one jar out of the freezer at time and add the eggs,yogurt/keifer and other supplements right before I serve it.

  25. Haaa! Glad I came back to find this. Yes, I can relate to this type of scenario. I think if I were in the same predicament, I’d find it really difficult to bring hubby around to my way of thinking. Men. They’re so black and white about everything. Kudos to your healthy feeding practices!

    • Exactly. Men. I usually always win an argument like this by asking him what parenting/nutrition books he has read lately. The answer is always nothing. He has not read a single book that I have recommended. So I tell him until he reads the research I read, he doesn’t get to make the decision. If wants to read everything I have, then he can have a say. Or I will tell him, that I don’t tell him how to design and build things (he’s an engineer) because I don’t have an engineers education. So he can’t tell me what to do in regards to parenting or nutrition because he is totally uneducated on the topic.

  26. Thanks for teaching me about giving egg yolk to infants. My second baby is almost four months and I am learning ingredients to feed her so she can be healthy. I didnt do so well with my first however..I have a question: if I can’t find a farm to buy eggs can u still get eggs from the store?? And if I can find a farm, do I leave the eggs out and not refrigerate them? Can I start to feed my daughter at four months? You mentioned on a different post that you can start at fours this but you started at six months for your daughter. Do you have any other recipes for your baby? Thank you for your time

    • You can start at 4 months if you want and if baby is ready. I didn’t think Penelope needed it before then, she was super fat from breast milk alone and seemed satsiated. If you can’t find a local farm, best quality organic eggs would be ok for this (cooking them 3 minutes) but I wouldn’t give raw eggs to anyone that were not from a farmer that I trusted.

  27. thanks for sharing this information! I have a 6 month old who is ready for solids. Is there a limit to the amount of eggs she can have a day/week? If we’re to add 1 egg yolk a day to her diet of only breast milk, will it be sufficient nourishment until she’s older to introduce other foods? I ask because I’d like to add other foods, like avocado and papaya at this time as well. Thanks for your time!

    • You can give them as much egg yolks as they want, just pay close attention to their cues, since you will be feeding them instead of them feeding themselves. You can add in other foods whenever you like, avocado and banana are good next foods, just don’t give new foods all at once, you need to give it at least several days to watch reactions.

  28. Emily S. says:

    Hi Stephanie! I was wondering if you have any recommendations for finding a local farmer to buy eggs from. I found several farmers that do pastured eggs close by with localharvest.org, but I feel like I need to ask them some questions to know I trust them! Did you “interview” your farmers?

  29. I’m wondering why use the yolk only and not the white? I know for kids under one the white is avoided due to potential allergies, but if your child is older, as Penelope is, why not use the entire egg in the smoothie? Is there any reason not to that I should be aware of? I’m thinking of adding one egg to my 2yo daughter’s smoothies and just want to be sure.

    • Oh, really it’s just a taste and texture thing, once your child is old enough. Penelope is so picky, that I am more concerned about getting the nutrients in from the yolk and I don’t want to risk tipping her off. But you have a non-picky eater, whole egg is just fine.

  30. Hi Stephanie,

    Great post. I just ran across this blog and have a couple of things to add.

    One, raw eggs are great in pregnancy too – fetal brain development is so rapid in third trimester, it’s important to provide the appropriate nutrients then as well as during childhood.

    Second, the risk of contracting salmonella from a raw egg- one in 30,000 – is exceptionally rare. Further, If one in three babies with salmonella dies, well, then the risk of death from eating a raw egg drops to one in 90,000. For comparison’s sake, the risk of death from playing soccer is about one in 50,000. Should we stop our children from playing soccer? Obviously not.

    However, for the truly paranoid, why not just pasteurize your eggs? This kills all salmonella and doesn’t cook the yolk, although it is time consuming.

    Thanks!

  31. I have no trouble with raw egg yolks or raw milk for that matter, I can’t stand the “cooked modified” milk sold in the stores, doesn’t taste like milk at all and causes stomach upsets for me that raw milk does not. I think the USDA unfairly targets both raw eggs and raw milk that come from a good clean source. Also I am a microbiologist and that complicateds the matter! I would like to warn you about feeding your kid raw egg whites on a constant basis. Raw egg whites consumed over months or years can cause a Biotin deficiency. Biotin is part of the B vitamin family and a biotin deficiency is a rare occasion but does occur in people that regularly consume raw egg whites. The raw egg whites contain a protein called avidin that binds biotin strongly, the avidin is partially denatured when cooking. Many other things can cause Biotin deficiency but this has always stayed in my mind since college nutrition class, my instructor said he remembered a case of Biotin deficiency in an alcoholic that had a raw egg in his brandy every morning for breakfast. Of course alcohol will also contribute to the problem as it is also one of the things that may lead to Biotin deficiency. Do some studies searching on Biotin deficiency on the net. Angel food cake is an excellent way of using up all those whites, and they freeze fine in a container until you have enough for a cake!

  32. ok… sooo… I live in the arctic and it is certainly not possible for me to find chickens up here, let alone a farmer. Just as unlikely for me to find “free-range” or “organic” in the ordering section of the store I work at up here… What are the risks of eating raw yolks? I mean… I eat raw yolk all the time and I’ve yet to get salmonella. So what’s the story?

    • The chance of getting it even from eggs that are “conventional” are pretty low. People used to eat raw egg yolks all the time, even after the industrial age, but in our ligitious society, just one case is enough to make the FDA say NO WAY! It comes from the quality and cleanliness of the place the chickens lay their eggs, how healthy the chickens are themselves and then how clean and safe the handling/shipping process is to get the eggs to you. It’s possible, and you will just have to listen to your own instincts.

      • I started feeding my baby hard boiled egg yolk over a month ago she is 7 months now and loves the eggs but came across your post about giving it soft boiled instead for better nutrition because of how hard boiling depletes the nutrition. I have been getting my eggs from a farm and they are grass fed chickens and was wondering if that is ok? also I was really worried to give her raw yolk because of salmonella but you have gave me some reassurance so I would like to start doing it soft boiled instead and give her the soft yolk but I was wondering a few things I’m confused on, after reading through your blog are we suppose to wash the eggs before boiling them cause you mentioned something about commercial company’s washing the eggs and the egg being exposed to air can increase salmonella I might be confused on what I read but I’m not sure if the farmer I get my eggs from washes them for me before giving them to me, I never bothered to ask before and so should they not be washed at all before getting them from the farm or before boiling them is what I guess I’m trying to ask? I just want to make sure I do this the correct way before attempting to give her raw yolk so I don’t worry so much. Thank you

        • It doesn’t deplete all the nutrition, raw just has the most nutrition. Giving your child hard boiled egg yolks is great too. I always wash my farmer eggs first.

  33. How many egg yolks do I give a 17 month old? Should I increase the number the older he gets? He currently eats one egg yolk per day since he was about 7 months old.

    • Increase as your baby needs. Kind of like baby led weaning, you feed them until they are not hungry anymore! You can feed your son as much or as little as he wants. He is wise and knows when he is full, YOU just have to pay attention and really tune into him. :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] of all the chickens we could donate, so a child can get the same benefits Penelope gets by eating eggs from a pastured chicken.  With the amount of protein packed in one egg, a donation of one single […]

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  3. […] her before, she came up with this recipe that was a big hit. And I quoted her in yesterday’s raw egg yolk post.  She made all of these for Penelope for her birthday and […]

  4. […] I add one raw egg yolk, yes I said raw.  When she is older, I will probably start adding two egg […]

  5. […] not send her to school with a smoothie.  For a smoothie to really be nutritious it needs to have a raw egg and fresh yogurt or keifer in it.  If it is just fruit-based one, with no egg or yogurt, […]

  6. […] you get some really good eggs.  By that, I mean eggs that are pasture-raised and from a local farm.  If you don’t think […]

  7. […] Are Raw Egg Yolks Safe for Babies? (Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Read the post.) […]

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