Tuesday, January 12, 2016

An EGGcellent Source of Protein for Kids

By: Christine Cox, The Choosy Mommy

My in-laws live on a farm and on that farm there are cows, pigs, donkeys, horses and chickens…E-I-E-I-O! 

And now that all of the grandkids are getting older (the oldest is 4), they are becoming more interested in how the farm works and what comes from the farm that they can eat. The farm has "something that's healthy, something that tastes good" which are lyrics from this month's Choosy song of the month - My Choosy Plate. The kids' interest really started to peak this past summer when my daughter, Capri, and her cousin would help Grandma harvest tomatoes from the garden. It was really exciting to both of them as they felt they had a “job” to do. Once the tomato season ended, they moved their interest to the next thing on the farm: free-range chickens.

There are about 25 chickens that roam a clean, uncrowded, green grassy area on the farm. There isn’t a fence to keep them in a specific area but they do have a coop that they are free to go in and out of as they please. The coop is mainly for their safety, and shelter but it is also where they lay their eggs. Capri doesn’t really care to get close to the chickens, but she likes what they produce…meat and eggs!

For the purpose of this blog, we will stick to discussing the benefits of these eggs as a lot of kids, even the pickiest of eaters, will eat eggs and many parents (including myself) worry about their children not having enough protein in their diet.
Free-range chickens seem to be the trendy thing these days, but let me tell you, the freshness of the eggs really makes the taste a lot better. Capri has even noticed they taste better as we haven’t always had these eggs. Even though my in-laws do this as a hobby, there are many farmers who produce eggs for a living. In a previous blog, we discussed buying food from your local farmers. Not only is it a great way to save money, but the produce you buy is more likely to have higher nutrient levels than what you purchase at the store. You should definitely find out if you have a local farmer that produces free-range chicken eggs because they are REALLY good for you!

According to The Sustainable Table, “free-range chickens have 21% less total fat, 30% less saturated fat and 28% fewer calories than their factory-farmed counterparts." Additionally, a study from Mother Earth News found that compared to conventional American eggs, real free-range eggs, like those my in-laws have on their farm, have less cholesterol and saturated fat, plus more vitamins A, B12, D and E, beta carotene and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids. Free-range eggs are also higher in lutein, zeaxanthin and folic acid.

So not only do these free-range eggs provide my daughter with all of the mentioned vitamins and good fatty acids, she also gets essential amino acids, which are the building blocks for hormones, skin, tissues, and more in the body. According to Parents.com’s article, The Nutritional Benefits of Eggs, they are considered essential because our body cannot make them on its own; we have to get them from food. In kids, protein is vital for growth, while adults use it to maintain lean tissue, repair muscle after exercise, and keep the immune system in tip-top shape.

And one other thing that I always share with everyone about these eggs is their freshness. The eggs that you buy in stores have usually been sitting for well over a month before you even have the chance to purchase them. With the free-range chickens, we collect the eggs, wash them and can eat them right away.

Capri prefers her eggs scrambled (with ketchup!) while I like mine over easy. My husband loves a good hardboiled egg but you have to wait a couple weeks for fresh free-range eggs to be ready to boil due to their softness. Remember that eggs provide so many nutritional benefits so teach your children about this EGGcellent food! 

Don't forget to check out the My Choosy Plate song and while you're listening, why not download a free activity to complete with your children? Choosy loves fan-mail, so once you finish the activity, take picture and send it to info@choosykids.com for a chance to be highlighted!

How do you eat your eggs? Share you recipes with us! Do you buy free-range eggs from a local farmer?
About the Author: Christine Cox is the blog master for Choosy Kids. She has always had a passion for writing and is honored to contribute her work to this blog. Most of her writing inspiration comes from her daughter, Capri, who is fun-loving and full of energy, and newborn son Cam. Click here to learn more about Christine.

52 comments :

  1. I get my eggs delivered from the milk man and I believe they are local. Whatever they are, my kids eat tons of them.

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    1. You have a milkman?! That's soooo cool! Where do you live?

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  2. I just started getting my eggs from our local farmers market. It is amazing how much larger and brighter the yokes are compared to store bought. I wish I could raise my own chickens but the farmers market is a great solution

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    1. Our eggs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and color depending on which chicken laid it. Some eggs are small, some are large, some are really round and others oval. There are also different shades of brown and I think that is so cool!

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  3. Is the universe telling me something heer about Eggs or fertility or something. 4 blogs I have come accross taling about eggs and their awesomeness...maybe I should have an egg omelette tonight lol! Honestly an egg is an eggcellent source of protein and all kinds of other good stuff as long as its not smothered in greasy saturated fats we are good to go...Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Oh gosh! Eggs everywhere! How was your dinner?

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  4. I love that you raise your own...and I completely agree about supporting your local farmer's markets.

    The factory farming practices are horrific, so this is refreshing.

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    1. Thanks. We also use the chickens for meat too and it tastes so much better than the store bought.

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  5. It is so awesome that you raise your own and in that way you always know they are fresh :) Thanks for sharing Christine!

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  6. My favorite eggs are the ones delivered to a very small supermarket down the street from a local farm. There is definitely a taste difference! Great article. You are lucky to have grandparents who live on a farm!

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    1. My hubbys uncle owns a small grocery store and they try to get as much of their product from local farmers too. Isn't it wonderful to know exactly where your food is from and who is benefitting from your money?!

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  7. My good friend raises her own chickens too and her eggs are SO good!! I need to take a second look at where I buy my eggs.. great post!

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    1. Thanks! Sometimes the prices are even cheaper than at the store if you go straight to the farmer.

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  8. We used to get our eggs from a friend of ours who had chickens. His chickens got old and stopped laying eggs and he didn't get any young ones. So we now buy them at whole foods, they are still local and organic. But eggs fresh from the farm are unbeatable!

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    1. Local and organic is great but I just wonder how long it has been since they were laid to get to the shelf and then into your fridge? Just wondering :)

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  9. We all love eggs here, so I really need to look into a local source. I had no idea there were so many more benefits.

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    1. Heck yea! Eggs are awesome and so easy for the kids to eat.

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  10. We are an egg loving household. Many of our friends have their own chickens, which is shocking in Chicagoland, and they love to share eggs with us.

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    1. That is shocking! I live in a rural area and there are people who live in town (technically it is zoned a city) that are throwing a bird (hehe) about wanting to raise chickens in their yards. It's the big talk right now!

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  11. I can't believe the difference in color with fresh eggs!

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    1. It's amazing all of the different colors that are laid.

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  12. I love eggs - no matter how they are prepared or where they came from!

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  13. Eggs are definitely better when they're fresh. And I agree, free range eggs are the best when it comes to nutritional value.

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  14. We are planning on getting chickens when we get a little more land, and we want to do some major gardening. I think my son will love to help!

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    1. That is awesome. My 3 year old loves to garden and collect the eggs but she haaaates when the chickens come near. It's actually quite funny :)

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  15. I think it's a great idea to buy locally. I'd definitely prefer buying eggs from a free-range farm.

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  16. What an incredible opportunity for your kids to grow up with a farm in the family. I've been wondering about raising my own chickens eventually... Must be so nice to get farm fresh eggs!

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  17. My son was a huge fan of eggs so i'm planning to buy eggs from the local farm

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  18. This would be perfect for my son, I'm going to check it out.

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  19. Awesome idea. Thanks for posting this up! Time to order those eggs up!

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  20. I love buying fresh eggs from the local farmer. My family loves them sunny side or omelet.

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  21. We consume a lot of eggs in our house. Scrambled, boiled, sunny side, whatever! I only want high quality eggs for my family so I always get them from local farmers whenever I can.

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  22. I wish I could find a place to get local eggs around here. They are so much better. We go through a TON of eggs here (about 6-7 dozen a week minimum). I think I'm gonna make it more of a priority to find local eggs. Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Wow! That's a lot. May I ask what you do with them, whether it's baking or just eggs for breakfast/lunch/dinner?

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  23. I love getting fresh free range eggs! I can tell a big difference in the taste.

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  24. There's nothing better than a farm fresh egg! I ordered some from a local farm over Christmas (along with our turkey) and they taste so great!

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    1. Go you! The turkey like to hang out on the farm but they are wild haha!

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  25. Oh yeah, we love our eggs. I'm going to have to look into buying from local farmers instead of buying them from the store.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Cori

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    1. You may even save some money going straight to the farmer

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  26. I think it is great if you can get eggs directly from the local farmers in person so you get them as fresh as you want. We don't have such chance, but still when my mom comes home she used to get them for me in bunch.

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  27. I totally agree! Eggs are an excellent source of protein, and you can use them in a TON of awesome recipes. I get mine from my uncle who raises chickens. Fresh eggs are always the best!

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