via SFGATE: Delicious, nutritious and easy to prepare, eggs are a breakfast favorite of many moms and kids. They’re a rich source of high-quality protein, vitamin A and vitamin B-12, but they’re also a source of saturated fat, which adults and kids alike should limit in their diets for the sake of heart health. Keep your child’s intake to one egg a day, and add variety with other kid-friendly sources of breakfast nutrition.
Everything in Moderation
Eggs provide a wealth of nutrients children need for healthy growth and development. One large egg provides 6.25 grams of protein, which is between 18 and 48 percent of the RDA for protein for children ages 1 to 13 years old. One large egg also provides 60 to 128 percent of the RDA for vitamin A and 18 to 23 percent of the RDA for vitamin B-12. Vitamin A is crucial for good vision and healthy bone growth, and vitamin B-12 is necessary for optimal development and cognitive functioning.
Eggs are also high in fat, however, including the type that can be unhealthy in excess – saturated fat. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015 – 2020 recommends that all Americans limit their intake of saturated fats to less than 10 percent of their total daily calories. One large egg provides 1.5 grams of saturated fat. For a moderately active 8-year-old boy, that’s only 1 percent of his daily calories. But that number can quickly increase with the number of eggs he eats, especially when combined with the other foods he eats in a day that may also contain saturated fat.
Cooking Methods Make a Difference
What is your child’s favorite way to eat eggs? Scrambled with cheese? Fried with butter? Over sausage links? An egg is only as healthy as the way it’s prepared. Fats and oils used in different cooking methods and in foods commonly eaten with eggs can significantly drive up the saturated fat in an otherwise healthy meal. Boiling and poaching are the healthiest ways to cook eggs. If you’re going to fry or scramble them, use a small amount of a healthy oil such as olive oil and go easy on the cheese.
Variety is Key
The more variety you can introduce into your child’s diet, the more nutrients she’ll get. Increased exposure to different foods also reduces picky eating behaviors. Other nutritious sources of protein at the morning meal include Greek yogurt with fruit or granola, almond butter on whole-grain toast, oatmeal with chia seeds and berries or quinoa with sliced bananas.