What is good fat? Why is it crucial for toddlers to consume good fat? Which foods are rich sources of good fat? Get to know about all this and more in this article that explains the importance of good fat to toddlers.
Fat is perhaps the most misunderstood of all the essential nutrients. While most of us blindly discard fat from our diet, good fat is in fact essential to the human body, especially for toddlers.
Good fat for toddlers: 3 Reasons why it is important
1. Fat is high in calories, and when consumed, it is either burned up as energy or contributes towards the building blocks of the body.
In kids, especially toddlers, growth and brain development takes place rapidly. High levels of physical activity along with growth leads to more caloric requirement. According to American Family Physician, their gastric capacity is also limited and that’s why they require a high fat diet for fulfilling their caloric needs.
2. Good fat is an important part of a balanced and healthy diet for kids as both fat and cholesterol play a significant role in brain development. It also contributes towards building nerve tissues and producing hormones.
3. Apart from this, fat also helps in absorbing essential nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K. It also helps your little ones feel full to avoid overeating.
Experts suggest that for kids under the age of two, fat intake should not be restricted. In fact, one third of their total caloric intake must come from fat. However, the diet should be varied and include all essentials.
Here are the types of fat essential for your child:
Good fat is also known as unsaturated fat and has many health benefits for both kids as well as adults. These cannot be produced by the body and essentially come from our food.
- Monounsaturated fat:
– Provides the body with essential nutrients like Vitamin E
– Supports healthy development
– Helps in maintaining body cells
– Reduces bad cholesterol
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids help in:
– Facilitating normal growth and development
– Ensuring healthy brain function
– Stimulating skin and hair growth, bone health
– Regulating the metabolism
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids are good for:
– Healthy brain development
– Building new cells, a process that supports the development of central nervous system and cardiovascular system
– The absorption of other nutrients
– The development of the eyes
Although saturated fat is not considered good fat, it is not restricted for toddler consumption as milk and dairy products are an important source of high fat required for toddlers.
Milk is a high fat food and provides your child with many other nutrients like calcium. In a way, it helps in closing the gap between your child’s diet and his high caloric nutritional requirements. So a moderate consumption of milk and dairy products is not only acceptable but even encouraged in toddlers.
Mums, one fat that you must avoid feeding your child is trans-fat. Trans-fat is a manmade fat, and it is found in margarines and many packaged foods.
5 Fat-rich foods that you must include in your toddler’s diet to keep it balanced and healthy:
Mums, using cooking oils is one of the easiest ways to incorporate Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids in your child’s diet.
Oils like sunflower, olive, corn (sourced from non-GMO sources) and safflower are good sources of unsaturated fat. You can make interesting salads or dressings to attract your picky eater to nibble on healthy food, or you can stick to simple, cook-and-saute veggies for the little one. Make smiley faces with a disc of potato, peas for eyes and a strip of carrot for the mouth. You can get as creative as you like.
Food and Drug Administration, U.S., advises that children and pregnant mums must avoid fish that are high in mercury. Fish that have high mercury content include sharks, swordfish, and king mackerel or tilefish, to name a few.
Seafood like shrimps, salmon, canned light tuna, pollock and catfish are low in mercury. Salmon, fresh tuna, and trout are a few types of fish that are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
So, if your little one is a seafood fan, there’s a high chance that he or she will grow up to have a super healthy heart.
This superfood, as it may be rightly called, is rich in monounsaturated fat. So it has multiple benefits like facilitating healthy growth in kids and reducing bad cholesterol.
Give it to your child with a dressing or as a simple finger food. Once again, mums, you can get as creative with an avocado as you please.
Just like fish, even chicken is a good source of unsaturated fat, Omega 3.
Boil, make a simple gravy or saute lightly, but make sure that you include this type of meat in your child’s diet if he or she likes to eat non-vegetarian food. You can even try making yummy homemade chicken nuggets. Just mix chicken mince with grated cheese and veggies, form into nugget shapes, coat with egg and breadcrumbs, and bake until golden!
Whole Cow’s Milk:
Mums, experts have said that toddlers must be given whole milk as only whole milk has a variety of nutrients, including high fat content.
MARIGOLD 100% Fresh Milk can be a great option to fulfil your child’s need for cow’s milk.
Why is cow’s milk a good option compared to formula milk?
Cow’s milk provides your child with the essential nutrients while it is not as pricey as formula milk. Besides that, once children are above one year of age, they get most of their nutrients from solid foods. At this age, milk remains in their diet only as a supplement, mainly because of the need for fat. This need for fat is met with by cow’s milk.
MARIGOLD 100% Fresh Milk is one of the best cow milk options available because it comes directly from Australian pastures, where cows are given the best care. Abundance of lush green pastures and purity of air are additional factors for the cows to produce the best type of fresh milk. Thus, it contains all the natural goodness of fresh Australian cow’s milk.
Mums, cow’s milk offers enough fat for your little one in his or her growing years so do not hesitate to switch to cow’s milk. Breastfeeding mums can also wean off their babies to cow’s milk after the age of one year.
Presented by MARIGOLD 100% FRESH MILK