Children Need Fats To Be Healthy

Just like carbohydrates, fats have gotten a bad rep in recent years.  Too much fat can be a bad thing, but certain kinds of fat are actually good for us and are an important part of a healthy diet. And as far as children are concerned, healthy fats as even more important! They supply nutrients that are essential for growth and are necessary for energy as well as the absorption and metabolism of some nutrients.

What You Must Know About Fat

Fats are not synonymous with weight gain foods. Not all fats contribute towards unhealthy weight gain in children and teens. But at the same time make sure your child is diabetic free.

Instead, fats are necessary for growth and provide the building blocks for cell membranes and hormones. Fats are also needed for transporting the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. Carotenes do not convert to vitamin A and minerals are not absorbed properly without dietary fats. Both cholesterol and saturated fat are essential for many body functions, as well as growth and development in babies and children, especially brain development. In fact, mother’s milk is made up of 50% fat, and most of it is saturated fat vital to babies.

Fat and Weight Gain

Fat gives food flavor and texture, but it’s also high in calories. When you think of foods to increase weight, most of them are based around eating more fat.

Fat is a great source of energy but has twice the amount of calories as carbohydrates or protein. For example, 1 gram of fat provides 9 calories, whereas 1 gram of carbohydrates or protein provides 4 calories.

However, children need more calories than an adult as the energy expenditure of an average child is far higher than the energy expenditure of an average adult. Don’t limit your child’s intake of creamy, cheesy, or buttery sauces or dressings. Instead, make them at home, so they are made with fresh, wholesome ingredients.

Whole-milk products and high-fat meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, and fatter cuts of red meat, chocolates and cakes and other forms of desserts all have hidden fats in them. All these can be called weight gain food, so it’s best to limit their quantities in your child’s diet.

Avoid foods that have low-fat or reduced-fat labels. These foods may contain harmful ingredients. As long as you ask your pediatrician for a weight gain food list that your child should avoid, you don’t need to limit your child’s fat intake.