Fats and oils

Fats and oils

Print Fats and Oils

Enjoy healthier fats

We all need to eat some fat everyday, some fats are better for us than others. It is important for almost everyone not to eat too many foods high in unhealthy fats. Babies and young children need fat to grow well. Young children can have full cream milk once they are 12 months old.

Healthier fats

‘Unsaturated’ fats are healthy fats. These fats can help to lower risk of getting heart disease. You find healthy fats in fish, nuts, and avocado as well as in olive and canola oils and spreads.

Eat healthy fats

  • Try to eat fish about twice a week, especially oily fish like tuna, salmon, and sardines. Canned or fresh fish are both good choices.
  • Nuts are full of healthy fats. Use nut pastes or ground up nuts for children under three. If sending to school or care check your services allergy aware policy.
  • Use olive oil or canola oil for cooking, and use a canola or olive oil based margarine or avocado in place of butter.

Enjoy healthy eating

Eat foods from the five food groups every day:

  • vegetables – try to eat different types
  • fruit
  • lean meats and meat alternatives (like eggs or legumes)
  • grain foods like bread, pasta, and rice
  • dairy foods or dairy alternatives that have added calcium (100 mg per 100 ml).

Use oils containing healthy fats for cooking and as a spread.

Reduce unhealthy fats

Unhealthy fats are saturated fats and trans fats. Eating too much of these fats over time may lead to heart disease. Saturated fats are found in meat, and in animal fats like lard, dripping or butter. Replace these fats with healthy fats. Eat less unhealthy fats.

  • remove the fat from meat and skin from chicken before you cook it
  • eat less processed meats like sausages, salami and devon
  • eat less deep-fried foods and take-away foods
  • eat less processed foods like pies, pastries, cakes, biscuits, buns and chocolate.

Want to know more

Ask your GP or child health nurse.