The aim of this module is to describe the nutritional benefits of eggs for pregnant women and for infants who are being introduced to solid foods. Specific nutrients found in eggs are discussed and put into context alongside recommended intakes, and the role of these nutrients in maternal and infant health.
The maternal diet is believed to influence infant health, as does diet in early life following the introduction of solid foods. Eggs, commonly available and low in cost, contain nutrients that may be of benefit during pregnancy as well as during weaning. Key nutrients include vitamin D, folate, iodine, selenium and long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 fatty acids). Data from a recent nutritional analysis of eggs are presented and put in context with dietary reference values for the UK. The safety aspects of eggs, including food safety and allergy, are also discussed.