How Many Eggs Can Your Child Eat Every Day?

Parent offering child frying pan of sunnyside up eggs at breakfast table

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Eggs can be a healthy part of your child's diet, but you may wonder if there's a limit on how many eggs they should eat each day. Dietary recommendations have shifted away from fear of the cholesterol in eggs. But you still need to balance whether your child is already getting cholesterol and saturated fat from other protein sources and if your child is eating a variety of foods each day.

Eggs and Child Nutrition

Eggs provide a assortment of nutrients that are important to children, including protein, iron, vitamin D, choline, and selenium, as well as an assortment of minerals and B vitamins. In the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eggs are included in the protein food group, along with seafood, chicken soy foods, nuts, seeds, poultry, and red meat.

According to the guidelines, school-age children aged 9 to 13 should get five to six ounce-equivalents from this food group each day, while younger children might need only two to four ounce-equivalents.

One egg counts as one ounce in the protein food group. While it's helpful to have a sense of how much protein a child might need on a daily basis, it's important to remember that overall nutrition is the sum of more than just a single day of eating. In addition, if counting ounce-equivalents feels overwhelming, there’s no need if you use a general plate balance concept for putting together meals. Aim for one-third of the plate to be filled with veggies and fruit, one-third of it to be a protein-rich food, and one-third to be a fiber rich carbohydrate (whole grain bread, corn, potato, sweet potato, cooked whole grains, pasta, etc.). Eggs can be a part of the meal as the protein-rich food

It’s important to strive for as much variety as possible in a child’s food choices, so if an egg provides the protein at breakfast, then opting for another type of protein at lunch and dinner not only provides nutrient variety but also texture and flavor variety.

Eggs and Cholesterol

In addition to the importance of variety in nutrients, texture, and flavor, another important reason to ensure that eggs aren’t a child’s only source of protein is that eggs contain cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends less than 300mg of cholesterol each day (less if you have heart disease or elevated LDL cholesterol). One large egg contains 187mg of cholesterol.

Cholesterol is found in foods that come from animals. Things like full-fat dairy products, eggs, red meat, shellfish, and chicken all contribute to daily cholesterol intake and the 300mg limit, as do foods that contain these as ingredients. To give you a sense of how different foods might contribute to total cholesterol intake for a day, an egg at breakfast (187mg), tuna at lunch (13mg in 1/2 cup tuna salad), whole milk yogurt for a snack (25mg in 5 ounces), and ice cream after dinner (29mg in 1/2 cup) would yield around 254mg for the day.

What to Know About Kids Eating Eggs

In addition to these tips, other things to know about your kids eating eggs include:

  • Eggs are considered a good source of protein.
  • If you or your kids are eating eggs simply for the protein—and opting for them instead of foods like fruits, vegetables, and higher-fiber carbohydrate foods, it's very important to try to increase the variety in your daily food choices.
  • Delaying the introduction of "allergy foods" to infants, like egg whites and peanut butter, is no longer recommended as a way to prevent food allergies.
  • Be safe when preparing and storing eggs. Cook eggs until the yolks are firm and make sure any foods prepared with eggs are cooked thoroughly.
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Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition.

  2. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Prevention of Allergies and Asthma in Children.

  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. What You Need to Know About Egg Safety.