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Ages & Stages

How to Reduce Fat and Cho­lesterol in Your Child's Diet

Family eating habits determine what your child will learn to eat and enjoy. Here are some ways you and your family can limit fat and cho­lesterol in your diets:

  • Keep fresh fruits and vegetables available.
  • Serve whole-grain bread and cereals.
  • Rely on low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt. Select cheeses that are lower in fat, for example.
  • Include starchy foods (potatoes, pasta, rice) in your meals.
  • Avoid high-fat and high-calorie toppings, including butter, mar­garine, sour cream, and gravy. Instead, use herbed cottage cheese, grated parmesan cheese, or low-fat yogurt as toppings.
  • Serve lean meats, such as chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef cuts (lean hamburger, top loin, top round, eye of round), and lean pork cuts (tenderloin, loin, chops, ham). Cut away visible fat and remove the skin from poultry.
  • Select margarine and vegetable oils (canola, corn, olive, sun­flower, and soybean oils).
  • Choose frozen fruit bars, angel food cake, or low-fat frozen yo­gurt instead of rich, creamy desserts.
  • When cooking, use nonstick vegetable sprays to cut down on added fat.
  • Choose fat-free cooking techniques, such as baking, broiling, poaching, grilling, or steaming when preparing meat, fish, and poultry. Do not use butter or margarine when preparing or serv­ing vegetables.
  • Serve vegetable-based and broth-based soups. Choose low-fat milk when making cream soups.
Last Updated
Caring for Your School-Age Child: Ages 5 to 12 (Copyright © 2004 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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