Finding out your child has high cholesterol can be scary and upsetting. However, this is a condition that can be corrected with consistently healthy choices. By reducing your child’s intake of saturated fats and complex carbohydrates, you can improve their diet and potentially avoid heart problems down the road.
You might be wondering, what does this mean for my child’s day to day eating habits? What does a diet that combats high cholesterol in children look like? How can I ensure that my child is getting the nutrients they need minus the unnecessary fats and carbs?
Obviously, this involves a serious conversation with your child’s doctor. The guidance of a medical professional should always be held in the highest regard when dealing with high cholesterol at a young age. Yes, the opinion of your doctor even comes before the opinion of the internet.
However, read on for some supplemental information on what a healthy day of eating should look like for your child. The following foods are all low in cholesterol, and your child might even be excited to seem them on their plate.
Breakfast and Morning Snack
Your child’s breakfast should be full of fiber and grains their body can actually use (as opposed to bleached and obsolete white bread).
This is a good time to serve your child a banana or other fruits, whole- grain toast, and cereal. Since whole milk is high in fat, you want to avoid it. Opt for skim milk or one percent. Yogurts that are low in fat and sugar are also a beneficial choice.
Some healthy and delectable snacks you can send your child to school with include strawberries, raisins, apples and peanut butter, whole- grain crackers, and low- fat cereal bars.
Healthy alternatives for your child’s lunch are actually all around you, and you can experiment to see what works for the two of you. Have a conversation with you child about which of the following foods they’re most excited about so you can keep them happy and healthy.
For the main course, try a sandwich with whole grain bread or a whole grain wrap stuffed with white tuna or low- fat, low- sodium lunch meat. You can supplement this with low- sodium soups or stews, fresh fruits, and whole- grain crackers.
Raw vegetables such as carrots, peppers, or celery with a low- fat dressing to dip them in can serve as a savory snack for later.
The fatty foods are most likely to creep in at dinner time, so be aware and try to avoid them. These include red meats, white bread, and excess amounts of butter.
As an alternative, serve grilled chicken, fish, or pork tenderloin. On the side, try a salad with low fat cheese and a healthy grain such as farro or bulgur wheat.
When it comes to correcting high cholesterol in children, determination is key. Talk to your doctor about the best way to stay on task with your child’s diet. Above all, stay strong and informed.