Recently, I have shifted my focus a lot on healthy fats. It was a very challenging few months for me to sustain my child since he just appeared to be ravenous ALL THE TIME.
However, after talking to few RD mothers, one significant changes I made was to feed him with more healthy fats snacks at every meal.
And, this has certainly kept him from asking for food on a more regular basis as he feels fuller anytime he eats. Some of these RD mothers said according to studies, feeding kids with egg for breakfast keep them fuller throughout the morning.
Importance of healthy fats for kids
Fats is one of the three major categories of food call macronutrients. The three are carbohydrates, protein and fats. Children need these three categories of food on a daily basis to maintain healthy energy level and keep fits. It is also essential for proper growth and development
On the other hand, parents make the mistake of replacing fats in their child meals with more vegetables, fruits, and whole grain. Little do they know that fats provide 25%-35% of calories that young toddlers and babies need, mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats.
Moreover, kids brain grows rapidly as they grow up, so enough fats intake is essential. In other words, fats help with brain development and growth.
A meal with fats is more satisfying and filling than a meal without it. That is, fats help with satiation after eating.
Nutritionists believe that we have gone overboard in controlling our fat intake, though fats have been getting a rap name since 1970’s. But fats provide the building block for many hormones that kids’ bodies need, aiding in the absorption of some vitamins, and necessary for the physical development.
But it is good to know that there are some unhealthy fats which can cause cholesterol problems and heart disease, and these fats should be minimized when packing your kids’ meals.
Staying away from saturated fats that come from animal products such as butter, cheese, lard will be an excellent idea. Also, trans fats that are found in commercially produced snacks like cookies, cakes, as well as margarine are considered to be extremely unhealthy.
It is advisable that variety is the key since there are varying opinions whether all these fats are considered healthy.
Best Fats for Kids
Avocado unlike other fruits that contains primarily of carbohydrate is a unique type of fruit because it is high in healthy fats and nutrients values. It does not include just any fats for the majority of fats in avocado is oleic acid. Parents can add it to any dishes due to its creamy texture and great flavor.
Eggs also contain healthy fats for kids. Eggs have minimal cholesterol which helps to reduce the global childhood obesity epidemic Apart from that; it provides selenium which is an element that boosts immune system
Nuts do not contribute to overweight or obesity if eaten as part of a healthy diet in which total energy intake is controlled. Different nutrients can be found in various types of nuts, but generally nuts;
- Contain a few saturated fats
- Contain high quantities of monounsaturated as well as polyunsaturated fats
- Have zero cholesterol just like all plant foods
- Include phytochemicals, like phytoestrogens (isoflavones) and phenolic substances, ellagic acid and flavonoids
- Consist of nutritional fiber
- Nuts are also an excellent source of the amino acid arginine that helps keep blood vessels elastic
- Include vitamins E, B6, niacin and folate
- Contain nutrients such as magnesium, zinc, plant iron, calcium, copper, selenium, phosphorus and potassium.
Yoghurt is usually considered to be healthy for babies. Pediatricians recommend that yoghurt can be introduced to babies as young as seven months. During this time, any milk apart from mother’s milk is not advised, but yoghurt is. Simply because the milk protein which is hard for babies to digest is broken down by the bacteria obtained in yoghurt and this means it is a lot easier for even babies and older people to digest yoghurt. In addition to this, continuous supply of the Lactobacillus species of bacteria is great for keeping your baby’s digestive system clean and healthy.
Cocoa butter just like coconuts oil is a healthy fat mostly saturated.