Fat is Good for Children

Why do kids need fat?

Fat is an important source of energy and other essential nutrients, which are needed to help young children grow.  Omega-3 fats are needed for brain development and vision.  A good source of fat should be included each time a child is fed. Offer children foods that contain omega-3 fats each day.

Good sources of fat include:

  • Oil and soft non-hydrogenated margarine
  • Avocado
  • Ground nuts/seeds or nut/seed butter
  • Tofu
  • Breastmilk
  • Store bought infant formula
  • 3.25% homogenized whole milk
  • Pasteurized cheese
  • Yogurt (4% M.F. or higher).

Food sources of omega- 3 fats include:

  • Canola oil
  • Ground chia and hemp seeds
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Soy oil
  • Soybeans
  • Ground walnuts or walnut butter
  • Tofu
  • Omega-3 enriched products like some eggs and margarine.
  • Oily fish such as herring, salmon, mackerel and trout.

Pay attention to the fat content of milks and beverages

Lower-fat milks (2%, 1% and skim) and fortified soy beverages are not recommended before 2 years of age due to their reduced fat content.

Do not give coconut, rice or nut and seed beverages before 2 years of age. These drinks do not have enough nutrients to meet a growing child’s needs.

For more information

HealthLink BC has more information on:

Feeding infants and children: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthy-eating/your-age-and-stage/children

Dietary fats and your health: https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/hlbc/files/documents/healthfiles/hfile68f.pdf