Get to know the Types and Various Sources of Supplementary Fat in complementary foods

Get to know the Types and Various Sources of Supplementary Fat in complementary foods

The complementary foods menu should ideally contain a variety of additional nutrients that are important for baby's growth and development, including additional fat for complementary foods. To help you find out various sources of additional fat for complementary foods, see the explanation in the following article.

During the first 6 months of a baby's life, fat intake can be met through exclusive breastfeeding. However, as the baby gets older, the need for fat can no longer be met only through breast milk, but also through complementary foods.

Fat intake in complementary foods can actually be obtained from high protein foods such as meat, eggs, and fish. However, in order to meet the baby's fat and energy needs, it is still recommended to give additional fat from complementary foods.

In addition, the provision of fat and various other nutrients through complementary foods is also useful to support the baby's growth and development and increase his weight.

Types of Fats That Can Be Obtained Through complementary foods

There are different types of fat that can be found in baby foods, including:

Saturated fat

Saturated fat is a type of fatty acid that is found in meat, milk, coconut milk, and dairy products such as cheese and butter. In addition, saturated fat is also widely found in cakes, potato chips, and fast food.

Saturated fat is often called bad fat because it can trigger the body to produce more bad cholesterol.

Unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fat is a type of fat that is good for the body. These healthy fats are found in vegetables, eggs, and fish and fish oil. Some types of healthy fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6, are some examples of healthy unsaturated fats.

These healthy fats play an important role in the baby's health, starting from supporting growth and development, strengthening the immune system, and maintaining the development of the baby's eyes, brain, nerves, and muscles.

Trans fat

Trans fats are found in offal, meat, eggs, and milk. However, this type of fat is also quite commonly found in processed foods, such as vegetable oil, margarine, or butter.

Just like saturated fat, trans fat makes the body produce more bad cholesterol. Therefore, trans fats and saturated fats tend to be considered less healthy types of fat when compared to unsaturated fats.

Several Choices of Additional Fat Sources for complementary foods

Fat in complementary foods plays an important role in adding caloric value to food. Fat also plays a role in increasing the baby's appetite and the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K, in the baby's body.

For children under 2 years of age, the provision of fat should not be limited, both types of saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat. Additional fat complementary foods can be obtained from the following types of food:

1. Olive oil

Olive oil is a healthy oil that is rich in unsaturated fats and antioxidants. So that the nutritional content of olive oil is not reduced, you should avoid using olive oil for frying or sautéing food for babies.

As an alternative, you can add olive oil to your baby's cooked food, such as porridge or team rice.

2. Coconut oil

There are 2 types of coconut oil on the market, namely virgin coconut oil (VCO) and ordinary coconut oil (refined coconut oil). The difference between the two types of oil lies in the processing process.

Coconut oil is usually produced from coconut meat which is dried, ground, and then squeezed. Meanwhile, VCO is produced from pure coconut milk. Both types of coconut oil are good to use as additional fat for complementary foods because they contain high levels of healthy fats and antioxidants.

3. Palm oil

Palm oil is generally used as cooking oil. This oil has an affordable price, is easy to obtain, and is suitable for frying or sautéing food. This oil is also good to add to solids to increase calories in food.

4. Coconut milk

Coconut milk is the result of squeezing coconut meat which is high in calories so it is good to be added to MPASI. Each tablespoon of coconut milk contains 3 grams of unsaturated fat. The content and nutritional value of coconut milk make this food a cheap and healthy source of additional fat for complementary foods.

5. Canola oil

Canola oil is a type of vegetable oil made from the seeds of the Canola plant (Brassica napus). The content of omega-3 in canola oil is higher than other types of oil such as olive oil, sunflower seed oil, and corn oil.

In addition, compared to other types of oil, this oil contains lower saturated fat. Canola oil should not be heated to high temperatures.

6. Margarine

Margarine is made from plant oils such as vegetable oil, coconut oil, and palm oil. Margarine generally contains less healthy fat and more trans fat and saturated fat. However, this source of fat can still be given to babies, as long as it is not excessive.

7. Butter

Butter and margarine at first glance look the same, but butter is processed from milk. There are butters sold in the market that have added salt (salted butter) or those without salt (unsalted butter). Both types contain saturated fat.

However, choose butter without salt because babies don't need a lot of salt intake.

8. Ghee (ghee)

Ghee is a solid fat made from butter. Ghee is processed by separating water and milk, leaving only fat. Compared to butter, ghee contains more saturated fat.

To complete your little one's nutritional intake, you can choose a variety of additional fats from the complementary foods above. The way of serving is also very easy, you only need to add 1-2 teaspoons of oil or fat above to a portion of your baby's solid food. Mothers can also use oil or fat for sauteing or frying your little one's food.

Cheese and yogurt can also be an alternative to complementary fats. In addition to containing fat, these dairy products also contain protein, calcium, and probiotics that are good for the health of your little one.

Giving additional fat complementary foods is often more recommended for babies who have less weight. However, babies with normal weight can still be given additional fat from complementary foods to complement their nutritional needs.

If your little one is underweight or you are still hesitant to add extra fat to complementary foods, don't hesitate to consult your pediatrician to find out more about the source of additional fat for complementary foods and the right portion according to your child's nutritional needs.