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Dietary Fat and Toddlers

If you’re worried that your toddler is overweight or concerned that he might become obese at some time in the future (perhaps because obesity runs in your family), you might already be thinking about cutting down on the amount of dietary fat he consumes. However, you should think again.

Here’s the bottom line: in the first 2 years of life, you need to avoid placing any restrictions on the amount of fat your child consumes.

Your toddler actually needs fat in his diet to ensure proper growth and brain development, and those first few years of life are particularly crucial. Dietary fat serves a number of other important functions as well, including providing energy and promoting wound healing. It also helps your child absorb certain vitamins.

How much fat is enough? During his first 2 years, about half of his calories should come from fat. Then after age 2 years, you can modify his diet gradually until his dietary fat makes up about one third of his caloric intake.

Last Updated
A Parent's Guide to Childhood Obesity: A Road Map to Health (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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