Choose healthy fats
Healthy fats are an essential part of a balanced diet for children. They are also known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Healthy fats are found in some plant-based oils and spreads (such as olive, sunflower, safflower, soybean, and canola oil), avocado, nuts, seeds, and fish. To support good health, it’s important that children eat healthy fats in appropriate amounts.
Unhealthy fats are saturated and trans fats. They are found in a range of foods including fatty meats, processed meats, full fat dairy products, coconut and palm oil, potato crisps, deep-fried foods, many takeaway foods like pizza and burgers, and commercially baked products like biscuits and pastries. Children whose diets contain too many unhealthy fats are more likely to have higher cholesterol levels and could be at risk of developing heart disease later in life.
Learn more about healthy and unhealthy fats for children.
Limit intake of discretionary foods and drinks
‘Discretionary foods’ are called that because they are not a necessary part of our regular diet. They are high in kilojoules, saturated fat, added sugars, and added salt. When we eat discretionary foods, they can take the place of more nutritious foods. Eating discretionary foods too often can increase the risk of being above a healthy weight.
If chosen, discretionary foods should be eaten only sometimes and in small amounts. These foods include soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened drinks, meat pies and other pastries, processed meat and sausages, lollies, chocolate, sweet biscuits and desserts, potato crisps, and ice cream.