Healthy Fats For Child’s Diet: Know 7 Best Foods To Offer

HOW TO TAKE CARE OF HEALTHY FATS FOR YOUR CHILD’S DIET?

Many laws consider young people to be fully matured or attaining adulthood at the age of 18 only. But as per a decent finding, it has been observed that the human body is not developed fully till the age of 25.  

After the overall growth of a child or toddler; parents, mainly- the Indian parents, are very much concerned about their child’s brain development. Again a study shows that it happens till the age of 15 at a breakneck pace.

Your child may be suffering from underweight. It may increase the chances of delayed growth and development. Calorie intake is essential for gaining some fair amount of weight.

Adding some extra healthy fats in the diet can boost the weight gaining rate. Let me discuss with you a fun fact.

The American Academy of Pediatrics does not allow the parents to impose any fat restrictions on toddlers’ meals having age lower than two years old.

If your child is not suffering from obesity or overweight problems, you can follow the recommendations given in this article. I have clearly explained meal management using lesser fat inclusion.

Readers will gain a lot of knowledge regarding the nutritional provisions to be maintained for the toddlers. Not only toddlers, but even you can also follow the same path in your meals. You don’t have to be shy that I am writing this only for the army’s kinder-garden troops.

Here I am going to discuss the ‘Healthy Fats for a Child’s Diet’: Since the age of a human being’s critical growth is between 15 years of age, it is very much crucial to have a proper diet plan for a child who is in the position of growing at a faster speed.

Fat is always misconceived as a harmful thing, which needs to be avoided at any cost. But, the truth is something else. We think fat is a bad word. We typically tend to co-relating fat man with the fat consumed.

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We see a fat man and judge that he may consume a lot amount of fat. But in reality, the adjective “fat” is not always linked with nutrient fat. Here arises the misconception.

It is the most significant source of energy. It doubles the number of calories that can be absorbed from carbohydrates or proteins.

Fats are building elements of hormones. With age, puberty comes in the child. This biological condition is counteracted by fat consumption to some extent. Hence somehow, fat consumption is a mandatory one.

Fat is an essential part of a child’s diet. It is very crucial for the development of the brain of your child. Not only mind, but fat is responsible for the all-round growth of the body as well.

Naturally, some vitamins are highly soluble in fat and vitamins, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin- D, Vitamin-E, and Vitamin-K. The necessity of these Vitamins is already known to all of us. So, the significance of fat could be easily estimated here.

Fats are responsible for absorbing these vitamins, and thus the body gets all the required vitamins for various organic functions inside it. Giving body energy and supporting cell growth is also a function of the fats.

But there is always a measure in the amount of fat intake by the body. In your child’s diet- utmost care of fats should be taken thoroughly. It is crucial to check whether fat makes up to 30% of the calories in your child’s diet.

Kids and teens love dessert and crunchy snacks. These desserts are made up of sugary fat intakes. The snacks are deep-fried in oils and spices. Hence fast-foods contain more fat content than home-cooked meals.

According to my taste buds, fats do add flavour and texture to the cooked food. But again, a dish full of fatty substances is highly calorific. Hence we should keep a check while consuming fat.

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Here are the 7 good options I will recommend as good sources of healthy fats for your child:

1. Nutrition shakes

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These shakes can be taken between meals. It is high-calorific. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are packed in these shakes. Kids love drinking these shakes. Some flavoured agents can also be added to make it tasty. But please consult your doctor because these shakes act as supplements. 

2. Purified fish oils

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Cognitive development of your child’s body requires omega-3 fatty acids. It is found in fish. Due to the presence of contaminants, I will not recommend fishes for your child. There is also a huge risk of swallowing small thorn-like bones. Instead, take the fish oil, which is tasty and the purest form to consume. 

3. Hummus

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Canola oil and soya bean are the essential ingredients of Hummus. Healthy fat and calories can be easily extracted from Hummus. It has a smooth consistency, and hence the toddlers love to consume it. You should make your child eat the Hummus with a spoon, especially if he/she is underweight. 

4. Nut Butter

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Peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butter are some examples of nut butter. They are healthy to eat. But the toddler is not so matured and may face risks of choking throat. If your doctor gives a positive sign, then you can go ahead. 

5. Avocados

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It contains healthy but unsaturated fats. It is also rich in calories. Potassium, phosphorus, and other minerals are also present inside avocados. Your child can easily consume it daily. 332 gm calories are enough for Healthy fats for toddler brain development.

6. Whole milk

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Healthy fats breakfast may start with a glass of whole milk. If your child is less than one year old, then you should not go for this option. Also, infants are dependent on breast milk. Whole milk is a complete diet consisting of Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrate.  

7. Full-fat dairy

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Due to the smell and the taste, your kid may not like taking a glass of milk. In that case, you can replace the meal with some milk, yoghurt, and cheese. These are sources providing an equivalent amount of calories and nutrients per serving. 

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Is there any relation between eating fat and gaining weight?

It may be possible or maybe not. If you eat the right type of fat using the right proportion, it is perfectly fine. Fats give our stomach the fullness feeling. Hence it is consumed at a more significant amount. The problem lies here only.

We ignore the exact capacity of consumption and go on taking fat. It makes us gain weight. There is a specific requirement of every nutrient in the body. Using various sources to fulfil that essential demand is our responsibility. We call it health consciousness.

Things become worse when we focus on only one component, which is fat here. Our body stores the extra fat in various regions of the body. Hence tummy comes out. A fat stomach signifies that some excess undigested, unabsorbed fat is getting stores in the body.

This unnecessary accumulation of Unhealthy fats in the body leads to an increase in weight gain. It is the approximate relation between the two parameters. But there may be genetic and heredity issues where the child is fat from birth.

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Do a kid and an adult differ regarding fat consumption?

Baby and Toddlers: They should take at least 40% calories from fat.

Children: They should take at least 30% calories from fat.

Adults: They should take at least 30% calories from fat.

As you can see from the chart, the babies and toddlers require a more significant fat percentage. Starting from infancy to birth, fat consumption is notable for the baby. The neurological development of the body is highly influenced by the amount of fat consumed.

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The digestive system of the baby’s body is weak. Hence, absorbing fat from protein or carbohydrate is difficult for the body. Even though the fat is consumed, the percentage or the rate of absorption is low. Therefore they should be provided with the right amount of healthy oils and fats that are easily digested.

The burning rate of fat is observed higher in children than in adults. Biological processes like protein synthesis and bone development are not so crucial for adults. They have already attained the matured format of the human body. But in kids, the growth process has just started. 

The array of an essential nutrient is the same for both adults and kids. But the portion size is not exact. Therefore, the proportions of the nutrients are not the same. It will vary because the rate of calorie consumption is different.

An adult is running, going to work, and involved in all the daily activities. Hence their energy requirement is more. On the other hand, the baby is also running and playing around. Both are doing work, but the calorie burning and consumption are different.

Hence it can be said that kids require more fats than adults. But that requirement must be fulfilled from good healthy sources like Vegetarian fats, ghee, and butter. ‘Aloo ka paratha ’ is a famous north Indian cuisine that people love to eat.

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What are the different variations of fat?

Saturated Fat

They are unhealthy fats. Most of the animal products contain these fats. You can hence see that going vegan is not all about stop killing animals. People are getting more conscious about their daily fat consumption.

Going vegan is found to be a recent trend nowadays. These fats can hurt the cardiovascular system. It can also affect the cholesterol level. Full-fat dairy products also contain this fat. I will recommend you to stay away from this diet-fight. If you want to get rid of your belly fat, stop taking them and prefer being a vegan.

Unsaturated Fat

The good fats or healthy fats are unsaturated. Vegetable oil, fish, nuts, and seeds are some of the examples of unsaturated fats. The typical chemical elements that are enlisted in the category of good fats are:-

1. Mono-unsaturated fats
2. Omega-3 fatty acids
3. Poly-unsaturated fats

All the good points mentioned about the fats are dedicated to these chemical names. The babies should consume these kinds of fats for proper nutrition.

The unsaturated fats are the primary building elements apart from proteins, carbohydrates, and essential minerals. I will recommend that you should make your child consume this particular class of fat for a good result.

Trans fat

All the negative aspects of saturated fats can be applied for this class of fat also. Trans Fat is produced due to the presence of hydrogenated oils and fried foods.

The last portion of the article mentioned that frying the food adds fat to it. The reason can be encountered from this particular topic. The generation of excess fat is due to the chemical bonds formed with heavy minerals and the oils due to heating.

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Is it possible to balance fat consumption in a child’s body?

I will say that fat consumption is not harmful. But it should be controlled in a proper manner else problems like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure may occur. Children suffering from obesity should take extra control of fat consumption.

Try to serve the meals to your child that have low-fat content. Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and fish are some of the examples. But don’t fall prey to the low-fat and reduced-fat products. These products are often packed with sugar.

Frying food will add fat to it. Boiling, grilling, and roasting are the safest options that will reduce the fat content. Baked/steamed dishes are also not bad options. Use mustard as a substitute for mayonnaise for making tasty sandwiches.

Don’t encourage your child to eat the oily burgers and pizzas from the school cafeteria. Try to pack meals and prepare them on your own, even in a family outing.

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Conclusive Remarks On Healthy Fats For Kids

It is important to teach healthy eating from childhood. It will certainly help him/her to make a sensible eating habit. They should choose food wisely and exercise regularly. Eating habit somehow influences the overall character and the personality of the child.

A balanced diet is the safest option to opt for the child. It takes care of the appropriate amount of the ingredients for the growth and nourishment of the child. A healthy lifestyle is enough to add positivity.

Additional Resources:

Smit Kumar

Health & Wellness Coach: Smit Kumar believes in the philosophy of successful nutrition hunting mindset for the healthy body, mind and spirit. https://thenutritionhunt.com

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