Over the past few decades, people’s views on nutrition have changed dramatically. From low-fat to high-carb diets, high-fat keto diets, and everything in between, it can be hard to know what counts as “healthy” when feeding kids. Especially for those who are just starting to get acquainted with solid food. That’s why it’s so important to find a balanced diet and not follow fads and trends.
When kids first experiment with food, parents want to make sure they get the highest quality food. Healthy, organic, unprocessed, these products will not only expand the tastes of babies, but also help the body and brain develop better. MedAboutMe has the top 10 healthy fats for kids and how to cook with them.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat that not only adds a nutty flavor to food, but also makes the body healthier at the same time.
Olive oil contains vitamin E. It helps to strengthen the immune system and contributes to the neurological development of children.
The best way to cook with olive oil for kids is to add it to vegetable purees, salads, or even drizzle it on your food when you’re done cooking.
Avocado oil is a healthy fat rich in vitamin E. This oil can lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce inflammation in the body.
This oil can be used to cook food or sprinkle over cereal, but the easiest way to include avocado oil in your diet is to add it to mashed vegetables.
Just one scoop or even less in a puree adds flavor to a meal while also providing much-needed healthy fats.
For those who don’t want to cook with olive oil, rapeseed oil is a great option. Not only in terms of taste, but also in terms of health.
Rapeseed oil contains many vitamins:
- Vitamin A.
- Vitamin D.
- Vitamin E.
- Vitamin K.
These vitamins help maintain vision, bones, skin, and blood clotting.
The best way to include rapeseed oil in your children’s diet is to add it to your puree. The taste of the product does not change, and the amount of healing fats that the baby will receive is simply off scale.
For years, butter has been considered a “bad” fat. But it has since been bounced back on the list of healthy foods, and it should be the main fat for baby food.
Butter is rich in vitamins A, E, K and B12. It also contains riboflavin, calcium and niacin, which help children develop.
But what is even more valuable is that butter contains omega‑3 and omega‑6 fatty acids. They promote brain development in babies and support the immune system.
Some of the best ways to cook with butter include:
- Add to puree or porridge.
- Spread on bread.
- Add to soup or stew vegetables for soup on it.
Butter is versatile, so don’t be afraid to use it in different ways.
Plain whole milk yogurt
Whole milk yogurt without additives is a great way to improve your child’s gut health. But because it can be a bit sour, yogurt may need to be added to other foods to make it palatable to toddlers’ taste buds.
An easy way to improve the taste of baby yogurt is to simply add some of their favorite fruit puree to it. This gives the yogurt a fruity flavor and makes it more “creamy”.
You can also add small pieces of berries and fruits to yogurt.
In hot weather, yogurt can be perfectly frozen in small molds with an inserted stick: when cold, children are less capricious about the sour taste.
Easy and delicious. What more could moms want?
Egg yolks contain healthy fats and omega‑3 fatty acids. And they can be a great source of fat in a toddler’s diet. They are easy to cook, which makes eggs an almost perfect food for children.
In omelettes, in mashed potatoes, in soup or simply boiled in pieces — first offer the child the yolk (a quarter from about 7–8 months, or a whole quail egg yolk), and then introduce boiled egg white into the diet.
And for those kids who are a little older, you can make casseroles with cottage cheese and eggs or muffins with egg and vegetables.
salmon and salmon
Many parents do not think about offering salmon to their babies. But because it contains protein and healthy fats like omega-3s, it’s a great food for kids.
In addition, the European Association of Allergists EAACI has confirmed by research the effectiveness of introducing fish into the diet at the age of 7–8 months to reduce the risk of allergic reactions in children, including those with a hereditary tendency to food allergies.
Cooking fish for babies is quite simple.
- First, you need to take the fillet and carefully check it for the absence of bones.
- Boil or cook in a steam / in a slow cooker until fully cooked.
- Mash with a fork for children who are already learning to chew, or puree (use a blender).
Do not rush for seasonings — not all babies are useful. But you can add a little dill or parsley.
Do not salt: children under one year old (and preferably up to two years) do not need salt in principle (as well as sugar)
And finally, add a side dish like mashed potatoes or boiled carrots, and that’s it — the dish is ready!
One of the most ideal first foods for children is the avocado. Not only is it delicious, but it is also full of vitamins and minerals that are important for children to be strong and healthy.
The vitamins and minerals found in avocados include:
- Vitamin A.
- Vitamin B6.
- Vitamin K.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E.
Avocado has also proven to be effective as a fruit full of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Neutral soft taste, soft texture — what could be better for children?
While avocados are great on their own, they can be mixed with other vegetables, berries, or even added to yogurts, cereals, and purees.
Did you know?
Scientists from the University of Illinois claim that avocados are good for gut health.
Packed with vitamin K, calcium, and some healthy fat, hard cheeses like cheddar are a great source of fat for kids.
Some ways to cook with cheese for kids include:
- Omelet with cheese.
- Sandwich or toast.
- And you can just give small pieces to children — this, by the way, is a great snack in case of a long journey.
In the last decade, doctors have changed their minds about whether it’s okay to give peanut butter to babies under the age of one. Early introduction of this potential allergen has been found to prevent allergies.
For children at a high risk of peanut allergy, experts even advise starting an ultra-early acquaintance — with microdoses of peanut butter at 4–5 months. And this is not just advice: the effectiveness of this method has been confirmed by research by scientists from the University of British Columbia.
In addition, the lowest number of food allergic reactions to peanuts has been reported in Australia, where peanuts are popular as a children’s breakfast item.
Different children’s snack foods are popular in different countries. And they are sometimes very strange: for example, yeast spread on bread. We talked about strange, as well as unusual and interesting children’s snacks in this article.
So peanut butter (no sugar, no salt, no other additives) loaded with heart-healthy fats is a great addition to an infant’s diet.