Before the demonization of cholesterol in the 1980s, it was very common to have an egg for breakfast.  Then all of a sudden, eggs were going to kill us because they contain cholesterol, fat was bad, and breakfast cereal was good.   But do you ever notice that when you have an egg for breakfast you are full until lunchtime and if you have breakfast cereal you are starving by 9am?

Eggs have so much going for them nutritionally, that they should be encouraged for breakfast, for adults and children.

Of course, diets are not one size fit all.  Lots of children have egg allergies or intolerances, so need to avoid them.

Adults with autoimmune diseases also need to tread carefully with eggs.

So why are eggs such a great food?

Phospholipids

Eggs contain fats called ‘phospholipids’. These help to make the myelin sheath, the insulation that covers all our nerves.  Having good insulation is essential for signals to be transmitted easily along nerves.

Eating enough phospholipids will help your child’s mood, school performance and focus.

There are 2 types of phospholipids of interest, called phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl serine.

Phosphatidyl choline

Rat studies have shown that pregnant rats that are fed phophatidyl choline give birth to baby rats with better brain function and better memory.  The reason it is so important is because our bodies use it to make acetylcholine.  Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter in our brain which helps with memory.

Choline can also have big impacts on children with speech delay, also because of it’s impact on acteylcholine

Phosphatidyl serine

This is also really important for brain health, especially learning, concentration and memory.

It is also able to decrease cortisol, the stress hormone, making it really useful for people who are chronically stressed (all kids with behaviour issues will be under chronic stress).

One of the best sources of these phospholipids is eggs.  Another great source is organ meats like liver, kidney or brain!

A vegetarian or vegan child (either through fussiness or parental wish) will struggle to get enough  phospholipids without taking a supplement.

Protein

Egg whites are a great source of complete protein.  Having an egg at breakfast will provide protein which is necessary to build healthy neurotransmitters in the brain.

It will also help to stabilise your child’s blood sugar so they won’t by tired and irritable by the time they get to class.

Having an egg at breakfast will mean your child won’t spend the first hour at school wondering when they are going to be able to eat something because they are so hungry!

Sulphur and selenium

Eggs contain sulphur and selenium.  These are both great nutrients for detoxifying.

Lots of children have been inadvertently exposed to heavy metals like lead and mercury (find out if this is a problem for them with a hair test), and eating eggs is one way to start to remove these toxins.

B vitamins

These are needed to have a healthy stress response, and to produce energy.

Children that have behaviour issues are under constant stress, at home and at school: “hurry up”, “sit down”, “don’t do that”.

Having a good store of B vitamins will help them deal with that.

Being under stress also depletes B vitamins so it is easy to get into a vicious cycle

Vitamin D

The “slip, slop slap” campaign has been so successful that a lot of children are now deficient in vitamin D.

Vitamin D is needed to make serotonin (the happy neurotransmitter).

Children with ADHD have vitamin D levels which are a third lower than children without ADHD.

Eggs are one of the few commonly consumed food sources of vitamin D.  Another reason to eat them!

How to choose eggs

When shopping for eggs, you want to choose free range organic eggs.  What a chicken eats will directly affect the nutritional content of their eggs.  If they are eating a diet just of grains, they will not have as rich a nutrient content as if they are eating grass, bugs and worms.

Boiling or scrambling the eggs is better than frying them.  Frying eggs in a high heat will destroy more nutrients and oxidise the fats more.