Kids' Diets Shouldn't Be Fat-Free

Kids' Diets Shouldn't Be Fat-Free

You want your children to eat healthfully, but what's good for you may not be good for your kids. In particular, adults and very young children need different amounts of fat in their diets.

Fat is an important source of calories that support infants' and toddlers' growth. Two fatty acids — linoleic and alpha-linolenic acid — are essential for your child's growth and brain development. Our bodies don't make these acids, so we must get them from food. Kids also need some fat from food to help their bodies use vitamins A, D, E and K. So don't cut back on fat for young children.

Starting at age 2, children's and teens' diets — like adults' — should be moderate in total fat and low in saturated fat and trans fat. From this point forward, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and other protein-rich foods should supply most of your children's calories.

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  • Cook healthy

    Involve your child in the cutting, mixing and preparation of all meals. Even a snack can be healthy.

  • Eat right

    Sit down together as a family to enjoy a wonderful meal and the opportunity to share the day's experiences with one another.

  • Shop smart

    To encourage a healthy lifestyle, get your children involved in selecting the food that will appear at the breakfast, lunch or dinner table.

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