Eggs are Winners in The New Dietary Guidelines for 2020-2025
For the first time, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, are organized by chapters that reflect every life stage. The edition also emphasizes that it is never too early or too late to eat healthily. What is significant for the egg industry is the specific inclusion of eggs for infants and toddlers. The Guidelines recommend the equivalent of two ounces per week of eggs for those 12 to 23 months of age.
The Guidelines are based on scientific evidence that nutritional needs vary by age, those at risk of diet-related diseases, and those living with these diseases. In keeping with the framework, new recommendations are included for children starting at six months, expanded recommendations for pregnant and breastfeeding women, and updated recommendations for children and adolescents, adults, and the elderly.
Eggs have always been included in the nutrient-dense protein group, along with lean meats, poultry, and seafood, as well as beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and soy products.
The Guidelines recommend introducing infants at about six months to a variety of foods from all food groups. They also recommend including foods rich in iron and zinc, particularly those infants fed human milk.
Once a healthy dietary pattern is established with infants to meet nutrient needs, they will be better equipped to achieve and maintain healthy body weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease as they get older once they reach one year of age.
From The Guidelines - at about six months:
- Introduce infants to nutrient-dense complementary foods.
- Introduce infants to potentially allergenic foods along with other complementary foods.
- Encourage infants and toddlers to consume a variety of foods from all food groups [including protein-rich eggs].
- Avoid foods and beverages with added sugars.
- Limit foods and beverages higher in sodium.
- As infants wean from human milk or infant formula, transition to a healthy dietary pattern.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly publish and develop the Guidelines every five years.
The full guidelines and other resources are available on www.DietaryGuidelines.gov.