Written by Shannon of Nourishing Days.
Becoming a mother may just be the most intense and terrifying thing that I have ever done. There was that whole giving birth thing, which was supposed to be the hard part, right? But then you enter the world of breastfeeding, books, ideologies, and the tornado of information that comes from parenting “experts” of all sorts.
In the midst of it all is this incredibly personal thing called feeding our children. When all you have heard for 30 years is “Fat is bad!” you tend to want to feed your children according to that philosophy.
But that doesn’t make any sense. Breast milk, the perfect food for baby, is at least half fat, much of which is saturated fat and even (gasp) cholesterol. I don’t believe that a child’s need for saturated fat and cholesterol ends when weaned.
And I am not alone…
The Case For Saturated Fat
According to Dr. Mary Enig, author of Know Your Fats, toddlers should still get about 50% of their calories from fat, much of which should be saturated. Others who echo Enig’s call for traditional fats include Nina Planck, Dr. Uffe Ravnskov, Dr. Weston A. Price and Dr. Malcolm Kendrick.
They all say that saturated fats and cholesterol are needed all the way through adulthood and are not the villains of heart disease that many claim them to be.
- Saturated fats are stable fats. That means they are good for cooking because they can be heated without being damaged.
- Monounsaturated fats are less stable and are better at very low temperatures or uncooked.
- Polyunsaturated fats are the most unstable – possibly rancid by the time you get it off the shelf.
Science aside, I’m in favor of common sense eating, so my philosophy is to eat what I could produce in my own backyard. I don’t know about you, but I am more likely to have a cow, pig, or olive orchard than a genetically engineered field of canola.
And how exactly does one extract oil from corn?
Of course it goes without saying that factory-farming is a crime of modern engineering in its own right. Your best bet is to seek out a local farmer or raise the animal yourself.
Stocking a Healthy Fat Kitchen
Because of the different properties of fats, I use some for cooking and some for uncooked dishes. Here’s what I keep in my kitchen:
- Coconut Oil
Salad or Raw Oils
- Olive Oil
- Sesame Oil
- Cod Liver Oil – (This is not an ingredient, but a fat that we give our boys as an additional source of vitamins A & D and omega-3s.)
Once we get past the stigma unfairly given to traditional fats we can easily incorporate this tasty and necessary food at every meal.
- Give them whole dairy products.
- Butter their vegetables.
- Add a knob of butter to their oatmeal.
- Cook eggs in butter or lard.
- Leave the skin on the chicken.
- Butter their bread.
- Serve raw vegetables with homemade dip.
- Cook fish with butter.
- Fry potatoes in lard.
- Dress salads in homemade dressing.
Fat is a real, wholesome ingredient necessary for healthy children (and adults) and it is time we welcome it back to the table.
How do you nourish your children with healthy fats?