We’ve discussed added sugars, sugar alcohols and non-nutritive sweeteners and now it is time to switch to fats.
* Fat is essential for all bodies to run correctly.
* Fat is an important source of energy for children and for cell integrity.
* Fat makes hormones needed to regulate body functions.
* Fat is needed to dissolve and use fat- soluble vitamins in the body.
* Fat is also needed to make the myelin sheath which is an insulating layer that covers and protects nerves, keeping them firing correctly.
Do NOT deprive your children of fat in fear of weight gain. Learn proper portions (which we will discuss next week) and how to balance fat intake throughout the day. Learn the difference between visible and invisible fat. Visible fat is fat you add to your foods while invisible fat are fat that is found naturally in the food. An example would be nuts or avocado. The fat is part of the food, you can’t take it out. Examples of visible fat would be butter, ranch dressing, oils, dips.
3 Tips for feeding children fat
- Pay attention to the amount of visible fat that is put onto or into their food.
- Stay away from hydrogenated fats (read labels)
- Choose foods containing invisible fat found in the food by nature such as nuts, avocado, seeds, milk, hard cheeses, eggs, fatty fish, and yogurt.
Fat tastes good and our palates like the creamy texture fat brings into our mouths. It is said to have a “good mouth feel.” This is why many fat free products contain extra additives such as gums, carrageenan, and starches like tapioca/corn starch to thicken the product for a yummy, creamy texture. The problem is that these additives are deceiving. Read labels for these thickeners and try to buy products without these additives.
Remember, a little bit of a delicious, wholesome fat goes a long way. The first 3 bites taste the best. Give small portions of good fats and all will be well in Whoville.