Is it really at all healthy to limit fats and other caloric nutrients in otherwise healthy and growing young children?


Children under the age of 2 years (or 3, according to some experts) actually need the fats contained in whole milk for the rapid brain development that occurs in the first years of life. Some pediatricians are adjusting this recommendation to switch to 2 percent milk after 1 year of age when a child is already overweight or if there are risk factors for obesity, for example, overweight parents.

Calories are not bad, but necessary, in the right amounts. Children have specific caloric needs that depend on their age, size and activity level. The word “calories” is just a measure of the energy a food contains. However, foods that offer only calories and have no other nutritional value are best avoided since they run the risk of filling a child up with “empty” calories before all of her nutritional needs have been met.

 

Are young children (age 10 and below) at risk from a high cholesterol diet – for example, from eating lots of egg and cheese sandwiches and similar foods?


Cholesterol and triglycerides can be a problem for children, especially if their diet is high in saturated fats, if they are obese, or if there is a family history of coronary artery disease or high triglycerides.

Eating habits and preferences do not begin in adulthood. Why start and reinforce unhealthy eating in childhood and then struggle to undo it later?

 

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