Decorating Easter eggs is a fun tradition for kids and adults alike!  But now that the holiday is coming to an end, people wonder – are my Easter eggs safe to eat?  The answer depends on what you’ve done with them!

Wondering if your baby can eat hard boiled eggs as well?  Keep reading!

Many families have exciting Easter egg hunts in the garden, or display their meticulously decorated eggs in a showstopping centrepiece at the dining table.  Sorry to burst your bubble folks, but these eggs are not ok to eat!  If your hard-boiled eggs have been at room temperature for more than a couple of hours, you’re better to toss them than risk it.

If you want to avoid wasting your eggs (which are a delicious source of protein and fat-soluble vitamins like D, E, and lutein, by the way!), plan ahead by preparing and storing your eggs correctly.

  • Use dye meant for food colouring, like liquid drops, gel or paste, or egg decorating kits available in many craft and baking stores this time of year.  There are lots of fun Pinterest hacks for other egg decorating methods (like shaving cream), but if you plan to eat your eggs, play it safe and just use food-safe dying methods.
  • Toss any cracked eggs.  When your boiled eggs crack, they can harbour bacteria and increase your risk of foodborne illness  If you see dye on your egg whites, you might want to avoid eating it.  But, you can still use these eggs for your Easter festivities and decorations!
  • Store your eggs unpeeled in a sealed container in the fridge.  Keeping the peels on helps to reduce the eggs’ exposure to bacteria, meaning that they can keep in the fridge for about a week.

 

Now you may be wondering if you can share your hard boiled eggs with your baby.  The short answer is YES!

If your baby is demonstrating signs of readiness to start solids (like being about 6 months of age, able to sit upright without support, interested in food, and bringing objects to his or her mouth with precision), then they can try whole eggs!  Eggs are a good source of iron, as well as fats to help baby’s growth and important vitamins and minerals that aid in brain and eye development.  It used to be that eggs weren’t recommended until after a year of age, or that you could only give egg yolks.  But more recent recommendations from Health Canada and Dietitians of Canada include introducing whole eggs as one of baby’s first foods because of their rockstar nutrient profile, but also because recent research suggests that earlier introduction of potential allergens may help to reduce risk of developing a food allergy.

To serve hard boiled eggs to your littles, slice in quarters lengthwise.  Aim to cook your eggs so that the yolk is not too dry or pasty, which can be hard for new eaters to munch down.  If you are opting for traditional weaning (i.e. purees and spoon feeding), you can also mash hard boiled eggs well and mix with avocado, mayo, or breastmilk to add moisture.

Check out this video by Jessica Coll for an easy method to cook “not too hard boiled” eggs that are the perfect texture for baby to eat!

 

Happy Easter!

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