Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Egg Yolks Good Choice for Weaning Babies

WebMD Health News

May 24, 2002 -- Moms and dads of weaning infants may want to incorporate egg yolks into their babies' diet. This may be an easy and practical way to provide iron and other much-needed nutrients that may become depleted during this time.

Both breastfed and formula-fed infants face several important nutritional challenges as they approach weaning age of 4 to 6 months. For example, since breast milk is a good source of iron, iron-rich weaning foods are needed to prevent iron deficiency.

Formula-fed infants may experience a deficiency of a fatty acid known as DHA, which is vital to the growth and development of the brain. The FDA recently approved the addition of DHA to infant formulas in the U.S. to avoid this problem. Breastfeeding provides sufficient DHA. However, doctors still don't know if weaning foods high in fatty acids such as DHA are important for continued development.

Egg yolks are rich sources of both iron and DHA and have a soft texture that is suitable for this age group. Scientists are also studying the benefits of egg yolks that are fortified with extra fatty acids (enriched egg yolks.) However, many parents may be concerned about the cholesterol content of egg yolks.

In this study, published in the June 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers compared the nutritional effects of feeding weaning infants regular egg yolks, enriched egg yolks, or an otherwise normal diet. Parents were told to feed their child four egg yolks per week and were given a recipe booklet.

Blood samples were taken from the infants at 6 and 12 months of age to measure DHA levels, iron status, and blood cholesterol levels.

At the end of the study, both breastfed and formula-fed infants who consumed the egg yolks had improved iron levels when compared with the infants who did not get the egg yolks. In addition, those infants who got the egg yolks enriched with extra fatty acids had 30%-40% greater DHA levels than those fed regular egg yolks.

Although an egg yolk typically contains about 200 mg of cholesterol and 6 mg of fat, researchers say egg yolk supplementation in these infants did not have any significant effect on blood cholesterol levels.

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy