Can my kids eat too many eggs?

“Eggie night” is a big hit in our house. It is the holy trifecta of meals:

  1. Cheap
  2. Fast and even faster clean-up
  3. No McChemicals

Yes, my husband moans about it, being less enamored with the beauty of the egg than my kids and I, but he can forage for himself.

The great thing about eggs is that they are a relatively good bang for the calorie buck and high in protein (important for repairing lungs affected by bronchopulmonary dysplasia). However, as my kids got bigger their egg consumption/meal grew from 1-2 eggs per child to 4-5 eggs. As that’s 320-400 calories, I always thought it was right on mark for a 7-year-old, but then I began to wonder about the fat. With 5 g of fat per egg, that’s 20-25 grams of fat per dinner. Less than a Cheeseburger Happy Meal (with fries, because who really gets the apple slices?), which packs a whopping 550 calories and 28 grams of fat.

So I asked our pediatric endocrinologist. She was a tad surprised at the 5 eggs, but quickly recovered.

First question. Any family history of early heart disease or high triglycerides? Fortunately no. This is important because eggs (and the cheeseburger and fries) are a pretty healthy dose of fat. A well functioning system can handle that fat load, process it, and as long as it’s not an every day thing, deal with it. Someone with a family history of early heart diseases/high lipids is probably not so good at dealing with fat.

Second question. What kind of eggs? We eat farm fresh eggs. The chickens peck the earth and eat bugs and seeds and the stuff that chickens are supposed to eat (the picture above is their hen house, and the one to the right are the actual eggs. The source of this goodness is a local farm called Tara Firma Farms). This pecking for grubs and bugs and seeds is important because pastured eggs are higher in omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and omega-3 fatty acids actually help prevent against heart disease. Pastured eggs have 130 mg of ¬†omega-3′s versus 40 mg for regular eggs. So, while you are eating more fat, you are also getting more of the good fat.

Third question. Do they eat many other eggs during the week? Maybe 1 on Sunday morning, but otherwise no. Don’t want 20-25 g of fat per meal every meal.

With that in mind, the endocrinologist and I are comfortable staying with eggie night. I still use 9 eggs, but now I don’t use two of the yolks. Reduces the fat (and unfortunately the calories), but still maintains a good whack of the protein. I always serve farm fresh eggs (and there is always a fight over who gets the blue one), but now with a side of fresh fruit (pears, because that is the only fruit they will both eat).

Even though the pastured eggs are clearly superior, they are also $6 a dozen, and for many people that’s just too much to spend when you can buy a dozen at the supermarket for $1. However, even regular supermarket eggs are a far superior choice calorie, fat, and chemical wise compared with a Happy Meal.

Remember, this blog is not intended as direct medical advice

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2 Responses to Can my kids eat too many eggs?

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