If your baby is on the chubby side, you might hear plenty of comments like, "Love those rolls!" and "I could just squeeze those chubby cheeks!" Everyone's got something to say about the cuteness of a chubby baby, but doctors also say that a chubby baby is a healthy one.
The truth is, babies need fat. A baby's brain consists of 60% fat, much of it consisting of essential fatty acids. Because their little brains are growing so fast, babies need the essential fatty acids that come from food to help them grow and enhance visual development.
Without enough fat in their diets, babies can fall off the growth curve, miss developmental milestones, and might be subjected to visual problems and mental delays. That's why breast milk is considered by health experts to be the ultimate natural food. It contains a whopping 50% fat - and just the kind of calories your rapidly growing baby needs to grow until their first birthday.
With most babies beginning solids around six months of age, parents need to avoid restricting their babies' fat intake as they would for themselves, thinking this will promote a healthy lifestyle. Babies really need the fat they are no longer getting from drinking as much milk. Parents should try to replace the lost fat amount by adding fat wherever they can in their babies' diet.
Here are some easy ways to up your babies' fat intake, and ensure they get the essential fats they need:
- Adding milk to oatmeal
- Adding butter and milk into mashed potatoes
- Adding egg yolks into cereal
- Adding cream to veggies, like mashed peas
- Adding butter to mashed pumpkin or sweet potatoes