Now that we know a little something about healthy fat from our last post and we have an idea about what healthy fats should be included in our diets, let's talk about what increasing our intake of healthy fats actually looks like! We promised that we'd help you out and so here we are. But first, let’s recap some important information.
- Fats are still fats. So we should generally aim to reduce fats in a normal diet.*
- For babies and toddlers, we should NOT restrict healthy fats. In fact, their daily diet should consist of almost 50% fats.
- We should look to replace unhealthy (saturated fats) with healthy fats (unsaturated fats).*
The Fat Re-cap
So, lets re-cap what we know about fats.
Healthy Fats (Unsaturated Fats)
-Nuts such as almonds, brazils, peanuts, hazelnuts
-Seeds such as pumpkin, sesame
-Oil: sunflower, soy oil, corn oil
-Oily fish such as salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel
-Fatty cuts of meat
-Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils
Increasing healthy fat intake
Most people get enough Omega-6 in their diet already. In fact, people get too much Omega-6 in their diets. Here, we will focus on ways to increase monounsaturated fats and Omega-3 in our diets, while also reducing Omega-6 and bad fats.
- To cut down on Omega-6 and bad-fats – reduce in take of processed and fast foods.
- Reduce intake of corn, soy and sunflower oil. Use extra-virgin olive oil (even for cooking!)
- Increase intake of Omega-3 by consuming oily fish atleast once a week and by increasing intake of foods such as walnuts and flaxseeds.
What does increasing healthy fat actually look like?
So, if your household is anything like ours, some one HATES the texture of seeds, another hates nut butters and someone else hates avocados. Or everyone hates everything. If this is the case, then increasing healthy fat intake could seem like an impossible task. Don’t worry, we have developed ways where we can still sneak these things in and the kiddos LOVE them. Here are some of the ways that have been really effective.
- Nuts and Seeds:
- Ground seeds and nuts. We literally put this into everything (yes..that includes smoothies, sauces, breakfast cereals, pancakes…you name it we have added the seed and nut mix to it)
- Nut butters – put into a sandwich, on toast or rice cakes. Add some chia seed jam and even the most reluctant child might be enticed into having some.
- Date energy balls. You can add either ground nuts and seeds or nut butters. These go down a treat. Add cocoa powder and they’re transformed into a added sugar-free chocolate snack!
- Avocados: Avocados are not a big hit in our household. So we do the following:
- Smoothies: We add them to a smoothie with extra ripe bananas and some berries, and they go down a treat. Adding a sweetener (honey for over one yr olds or maple syrup) masks the flavor even more.
- Guacamole added as a side. Flavour it up with onions, tomatoes, lemon (and a little salt and pepper depending on the child’s age)
- Olive oil: use everywhere. Use it to cook, on salads, in hummus, in cakes, on roasted vegetables. Replace all your oils with extra-virgin olive oil and you’ve got this part covered.
- Oily Fish. We love fish in our house, but if your kiddos don’t or if you want easy access to increase your little one’s fish intake you can try some of the below:
- Salmon fish cakes. These are so good and can be batch made and put into the freezer. So they’re always ready for a quick lunch or dinner
- Flaked fish in any sauce – for those little ones who don’t like chunky fish
- Fish burgers: who doesn’t like burgers? Breaded baked fish in a burger bun does the trick.
These are just some ways to add healthy fats to your child’s diet. We have not mentioned all healthy fats here, but have listed some of our favourite ways to incorporate healthy fats. Remember, variety is key and a varied diet is very important to overall health and development.
What are some ways that you add healthy fats to your little ones’ diets? Comment below or message us on Instagram @biokidsqatar
*according to British government guidelines. Source: NHS.