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Fat Recommendation for Kids

Parents all over the world are concerned about their obese children. But are the children actually obese or merely pre-pubescent? Prepubescent children burned more fat relative to the amount of energy they used than an adult. This is contributed to the growth processes such as higher rates of protein synthesis, lipid storage and bone growth.

Children must thus have enough fat in their diet to help attain normal growth and development. Though low fat yogurt and broccoli are healthy substitutions for butter or egg, growing children of all ages, be it infants or pre-pubescents, need more fat in their diet than adults.

Fat recommendations must be adapted to suit the age and metabolic rates.  With hardly any supporting information to the fact that restricting fats  before the age of two, there are plenty of research that show restricting fat for children below the age of 2 is dangerous. Low fat intake in eth growing stages affects physical, mental and visual growth development in areas. Omega 3 fatty acids are in particular required for the development of the brain and retina.

If reducing fat is indeed a requirement, start after the age of 5 and even then gradually reduce through childhood and teens. It's more important to instill in them healthy eating habits. It's during the teens' that peer pressure brings about junk food eating habits. The nutrition and value instilled at home plus the taste acquired play an important role in helping children make the right eating choices later on in life.

The problems that can occur due to limiting dietary fat are reduced growth and nutritional shortages that are needed for bone and cartilage development. Essential fatty acids play a very important role in preventing diseases later. If dietary fats are reduced as a child then the body understands it needs to synthesize further cholesterol on its own. This may continue on to the later stages of life when the body still continues producing excess cholesterol leading to a dangerous situation in life.

A recent study on high fat infant diets claim to lower cholesterol levels when an adult. A very provoking claim is the fact that breast milk is appropriately high in fat so as to repress the enzyme that synthesizes cholesterol.

Fats are thus an essential part of a child's healthy and balanced diet. Parents can ensure their children benefit anyways. Instead of restricting fat in diet, parents can try another angle by getting their children to increase physical activity rather than flick TV channels.

Submitted on January 16, 2014