Fat is Good for Children
Why do kids need fat?
Fat is an important source of energy and other essential nutrients, which are needed to help young children grow. Omega-3 fats are needed for brain development and vision. A good source of fat should be included each time a child is fed. Offer children foods that contain omega-3 fats each day.
Good sources of fat include:
- Oil and soft non-hydrogenated margarine
- Ground nuts/seeds or nut/seed butter
- Store bought infant formula
- 3.25% homogenized whole milk
- Pasteurized cheese
- Yogurt (4% M.F. or higher).
Food sources of omega- 3 fats include:
- Canola oil
- Ground chia and hemp seeds
- Ground flax seeds
- Soy oil
- Ground walnuts or walnut butter
- Omega-3 enriched products like some eggs and margarine.
- Oily fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel and trout.
Pay attention to the fat content of milks and beverages
Lower-fat milks (2%, 1% and skim) and fortified soy beverages are not recommended before 2 years of age due to their reduced fat content.
Do not give coconut, rice or nut and seed beverages before 2 years of age. These drinks do not have enough nutrients to meet a growing child’s needs.
For more information
HealthLink BC has more information on:
Feeding infants and children: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthy-eating/your-age-and-stage/children
Dietary fats and your health: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/hlbc/files/documents/healthfiles/hfile68f.pdf