Whether they’re scrambled, poached, or sunny side up, eggs are a delicious and healthy food to enjoy for breakfast, or anytime of day, really. Eggs have a reputation of being good for you, but it turns out they’re an essential element of a child’s diet. In fact, researchers have determined that eggs can help children grow, and stave off stunted growth. According to a new study, kids who eat eggs are significantly less likely to be stunted, which means eggs are even more important in a child’s diet than scientists previously thought. If there was ever a good reason to scramble up some extra eggs for the kids before school, this is it.
The new study, “Eggs in Complementary Feeding and Growth,” published this month in the journal Pediatrics, finds that the power of eggs to help children grow is found in their nutrients. According to the study, kids who consume eggs show a 47 reduction in stunted growth for both height and weight.
The impact eggs had on children's growth suprised lead researcher Lora Iannotti, who stated in a study press release that “Eggs have the potential to contribute to reduced growth stunting around the world.” Because not only are eggs healthy and helpful for child growth, they’re also pretty cheap across the globe.
This is an especially important for families in developing nations where food may be more expensive and resources more scarce. In fact, the newly published study was conducted in Ecuador, where 30 percent of the rural population lives below the poverty line, and chronic malnutrition affects 23.9 percent of children under the age of 5 according to the World Food Programme.
According to UNICEF, WHO, and World Bank data aggregated by the World Bank, the global rate of stunted growth in kids under 5 is on a downward trend, and this new research about the nutritional value of eggs may help to further eliminate this issue.