It’s important for both children and adults to be sensible and enjoy all foods and beverages, but not to overdo it on any one type of food. Sweets and higher-fat snack foods in appropriate portions are OK in moderation.
The following is information about fat, sugar, and salt and dietary recommendations based on recommendations from the US Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Encouraging Healthy Eating for a Healthy Heart
Fat is an Essential Nutritent for Children
Dangers of High Fat Intake
For that reason, after age 2 children should be served foods that are lower in fat and saturated fats.
Healthier, More Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Foods for Children Over Age 2:
- Lean meat (broiled, baked, or roasted; not fried)
- Soft margarine (instead of butter)
- Low-fat dairy products
- Low-saturated fat oils from vegetables
- Limiting egg consumption
Some parents find the information about various types of fat confusing. In general, oils and fats derived from animal origin are saturated. The simplest place to start is merely to reduce the amount of fatty foods of all types in your family’s diet.
Note: Whole milk is recommended for children 12 to 24 months of age. However, you child's doctor may recommend reduced-fat (2%) milk if your child is obese or overweight or if there is a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease. Check with your child's doctor or dietition before switching from whole to reduced-fat milk.
Serve Children Foods Low in Salt
Take the Salt Shaker Off the Table
Check Sodium Levels in Processed Foods
- Processed cheese
- Instant puddings
- Canned vegetables
- Canned soups
- Hot dogs
- Cottage cheese
- Salad dressings
- Certain breakfast cereals
- Potato chips and other snacks