Egg consumption in pregnancy and infancy: Advice has changed
Gray J, 20 February 2019, Egg consumption in pregnancy and infancy: Advice has changed, Journal of Health Visiting (2019), 7(2):68-77
The UK government has now revised its advice on the safety of eggs for vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, infants and young children, confirming that they are safe to eat 'runny' or even raw, provided they are British Lion eggs. The government's Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) has also re-confirmed that eggs can be introduced from around 6 months when complementary feeding begins, despite their allergenic potential. Furthermore, it suggests
that deliberate exclusion or delays in introducing eggs beyond 6-12 months may increase the risk of egg allergy.
This article discusses the revised recommendations in more detail and sets the SACN recommendations in the context of developing research on egg allergy. It compares advice on egg consumption for non-atopic and high-risk infants in the UK, the US and Australia, and examines the evidence on the influence of maternal diet during lactation on the risks of infant egg allergy. Finally, it provides an update on the nutritional benefits of eggs for pregnant women, infants and young children, including new research on critical but lesser known nutrients such as iodine and choline, with consideration of the suitability of eggs in baby-led weaning.