(Family Features) Eggs are for everyone, including babies and toddlers, according to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that released its Scientific Report outlining nutritional recommendations for Americans. For the first time, this committee, comprised of leading doctors and nutrition scientists, included nutritional guidance for younger children.
The committee recommends eggs as a first food for babies and toddlers since they provide eight essential nutrients that can help build a healthy foundation for life at a time when every bite counts.
Eggs provide nutrition for children and moms-to-be, as well. However, the report found most pregnant women and kids need more choline – an essential nutrient critical for brain health – in their diets.
According to research published in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” 92% of pregnant women do not get enough choline in their diets. Choosing foods high in choline, like eggs, can help pregnant women consume enough of this essential nutrient, helping a baby’s brain and spinal cord develop properly. Just two eggs provide more than half of the recommended daily amount of choline.
At only 70 calories, one egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all nine essential amino acids. Eggs are also a source of vitamin B12, biotin (B7), iodine, selenium, high-quality protein, riboflavin (B2) and pantothenic acid (B5). Additionally, eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin that can help protect your eyes from harmful blue light that comes from electronic devices.
Lots of parents worry about possible food allergies in their little ones. The committee recommends introducing eggs when your baby is ready for first foods, which may help reduce the chances of developing an egg allergy.
In Your Kitchen
Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse that contribute to health and well-being at every age, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy eggs beyond the basic boiled, scrambled or sunny-side-up. In fact, eggs work well in meals all day long. Toss hard-boiled eggs in a salad, top a sweet potato with an egg for lunch or try a spinach and mushroom frittata for dinner.
Baby-friendly Savory Egg Veggie Pancakes pack in nutrients from whatever vegetables you have on hand and offer a savory twist on classic pancakes. You can add extra toppings like avocado or Greek yogurt for a variety of new textures and flavors.
Another simple way to introduce eggs as a first food is a soft and fluffy egg casserole. You can also incorporate veggies for some added nutrition, since eggs can help you better absorb the nutrients found in vegetables, such as vitamin E and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.
You can adapt a Veggie Egg Casserole to your child's development and motor skills by cutting small squares or making a simple mash.
Find more kid-friendly recipes and advice about introducing eggs to your youngest family members at EggNutritionCenter.org.
Veggie Egg Casserole
Recipe developed by Stacey Mattinson, RD
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 sweet onion
- 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
- 1 head broccoli florets
- 2 teaspoons canola, avocado or olive oil
- 1 dozen eggs
- 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon flour
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Chop onion and bell pepper to age-appropriate sizes. Pick apart broccoli florets into small pieces and remove most of stems.
- Heat medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and swirl around pan. Add onions and cook 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Add broccoli and bell pepper. Mix with onions and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 1-2 minutes then cover with lid to steam another 2-3 minutes until broccoli is bright green. Remove veggies from stovetop.
- In large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add cottage cheese, shredded cheese, baking powder and flour. Add veggies and salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to prepared pan and bake 40 minutes.
Savory Egg Veggie Pancakes
Recipe developed by Min Kwon, RD
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 teaspoon oil or butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk or breastmilk
- 3 tablespoons cooked or raw vegetables, chopped or grated
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
- 1/4 teaspoon herbs or spices, such as cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, oregano, turmeric, etc.
- In 6-inch nonstick pan, heat butter or oil over medium-low heat, tilting pan to coat bottom.
- In bowl, beat egg and milk until blended. Add vegetables, flour, flaxseeds and herbs; stir to combine. Pour mixture into heated pan, spread evenly (don’t stir) and cook batter 1 minute, or until bottom starts to set.
- Flip and cook other side until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Once cooled, slice into desired shapes and serve.
Source: American Egg Board
(Family Features) With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets and dishes, combining them with dairy products can create a superfood power couple. For example, the cheddar cheese found in these Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers helps optimize nutrient absorption from the rice, black beans, corn and tomatoes to create a nutritious and delicious appetizer or meal.
Find more recipes that combine the goodness of dairy and plant-based foods at milkmeansmore.org.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- 6 large sweet bell peppers
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans plain (drained and rinsed if using canned beans)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a rimmed half sheet pan with non-stick aluminum foil.
- Slice the tops off of the sweet bell peppers. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and white membranes from the insides of the peppers. Discard the pepper tops and seeds. Place the peppers onto the prepared half sheet pan; briefly set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the diced onion, cherry tomatoes, corn, black beans, and brown rice until combined. Sprinkle the chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper over top before stirring to distribute the seasonings throughout. Fold 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese into the filling, reserving the remaining cheese for later.
- Stuff the open cavities of the sweet bell peppers tightly with filling, mounding a bit of the filling over the top edge of the peppers. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar cheese over top of the filling. Bake the stuffed peppers for 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is heated through, the peppers soften, and the exteriors begin to wrinkle. Serve immediately.
(Family Features) Nothing brings people together like a barbecue. There seems to be something about being outdoors and the sizzle of fresh food on the grill that makes you want to gather with family and friends.
This summer, you can be the hero of your grill with a few simple tips and tricks:
- A great meal starts with great meat. Make sure to use versatile, high-quality and tender cuts like Smithfield Fresh Pork ribs, chops and tenderloins.
- Cut down on time, not flavor. Look for pre-seasoned meats such as pork chops, or slice, dice or cube larger cuts like boneless loin to shorten cook time and increase flavor.
- Grill like a pro. Use direct heat for burgers and chops, and indirect heat for larger cuts like ribs.
Find more summer grilling tips and pitmaster-perfected recipes at SmithfieldGetGrilling.com.
St. Louis Style Pork Spare Ribs with Coffee Cocoa Dry Rub
Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Chris Lilly
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 1/2 hours
- 7 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coffee
- 2 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 racks Smithfield St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs, membrane removed
- Build charcoal fire for indirect cooking by situating coals on one side of grill, leaving other side empty. Heat grill to 250° F.
- To make dry rub: In small bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, chili powder, coffee, cocoa, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chile pepper, coriander and turmeric.
- Generously apply dry rub onto front and back of pork ribs. Gently pat to ensure rub adheres.
- Put ribs meat-side up over indirect heat, away from coals, close lid and cook until ribs are tender, about 3 1/2 hours.
- Remove ribs from grill and let rest, uncovered, 5 minutes. Slice ribs between bones and serve.
Pineapple Pork Kebabs
Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Sterling Ball
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- 1/2 Smithfield Prime Boneless Fresh Pork Loin
- 1 sweet onion, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces
- 2 cups pineapple chunks
- 3-4 tablespoons barbecue rub
- 2 1/2 cups teriyaki marinade
- 3-4 flexible skewers
- Heat grill or smoker to 250° F. Cut pork loin into 2-inch cubes.
- Season pork loin, sweet onion, red bell pepper and pineapple chunks with rub.
- Thread pork loin, onion, pepper and pineapple on skewer; repeat until length of skewer is almost full. Repeat with additional skewers.
- Put assembled kebabs in large re-sealable bag and add teriyaki marinade. Carefully remove air from marinade bag and refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Remove kebabs from marinade bag and place on grill over indirect heat; cook 12-14 minutes, remove and set aside.
- Increase grill temperature to 400° F. Sear kebabs at high heat, until caramelized. Using meat thermometer, check pork loin cubes for doneness; remove from heat once pork reaches internal temperature of 145° F.