Best Cooking Oils Facts for Children

Children of all ages need to consume a requisite amount of fat daily for their development. Cooking food in oil,  is one good way to incorporate the required amount of healthy fat in your child’s diet. 

Importance of fats in a child’s diet

  •  help in boosting brain development
  •  help in absorption of fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. help to have a healthy immune system
  • Fats help in better digestion
  • Fats help in boosting metabolism and is a good source of energy

 

Best Cooking Oils for Children

Best Cooking Oils for Children

Prolonged and long term use of the same type of oil can cause various health problems. In addition to that, using the same type of oil during cooking and in diet can leave the child deprived of essential fat nutrients present in other types of oils.

There are many types of cooking oils available in the market and let us look into some of the best cooking oils for children.

Ghee–

Ghee, especially homemade, can be introduced in limited quantities to babies as soon as they start solid foods. It will make the food tasty and healthy also. Ghee has Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for brain development. It also aids in weight gain and keeps bones strong.

Tip – Ghee needs to be melted when using it directly with food.

Benefits of Ghee and Side Effects of Ghee

Coconut oil–

Coconut oil when incorporated in regular diet helps in boosting your child’s immunity and reduces the chances of them getting seasonal flu. It helps in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from food. It’s good for keeping a child’s skin and hair healthy.

Tip – It is higher on the cholesterol level so be careful to use in moderation.

Sesame oil–

Sesame oil contains Vitamin E which protects the child’s heart and reduces risk of cancer as it counteracts the damages caused by free radicals. Sesame oil contains Vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting.

Tip– 

    • Sesame oil can be consumed directly without cooking. It is a natural coolant. It has penetrative properties which give deep nourishment.
    • It has a distinct smell and strong taste, so children might not like it. But helping them habituate can help in their nourishment of skin, hair and body.

Groundnut oil-

Using groundnut oil regularly helps in strengthening teeth and gums. Groundnut oil is fiber rich and gives a feeling of being full so a child’s tendency to eat junk food can be curbed. It’s a protein rich oil so it can strengthen muscles. It can prevent digestive issues.

Tip – Be careful when using groundnut oil as some children might be allergic to it, especially unrefined groundnut oil.

Mustard oil–

Mustard oil is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin E. It has anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe pains, inflammation and soreness. It has a pungent smell and strong taste and might not be liked by all children. If they do then using mustard oil for cooking would be very good for their overall health.

Tip–

    • It has a pungent smell and strong taste and might not be liked by all children.
    • Mustard oil can be a good option in cooking during winters and those in colder regions as it can help in digestion and also keep children warm during cold weather.
    • Long term regular use of mustard oil can cause health problems, so regular but minimal usage is recommended.

Tips to Improve Nutrient Absorption From Foods

Olive oil-

Olive oil is good for brain development and rich in vitamins. Olive oil can aid in digestion too. Extra virgin oil is good to be used as salads. Do not use extra virgin olive oil for cooking.

Tip – Olive oil is a great option but not a mandatory one, as it is quite expensive.

Tips to Remember about Cooking Oils

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while selecting oils for cooking your food.

  • Everything is good in moderation and include all the types oil in limited amounts in cooking.
  • Use good quality cold pressed and filtered oil. Avoid refined oils.
  • Use groundnut oil and ghee for deep frying as they have high smoke points to aid in high heat cooking without affecting the smell or taste of the food. Ghee, in fact, enhances the taste and the smell.
  • Do consult a doctor if you feel the child is having an allergic reaction to any oils.
  • If done wrong, shallow frying can be even more harmful than deep frying.
  • Use oil for frying only once. Reusing oil for frying can be dangerous for health. You can reuse the oil for some other purposes. 
  • Nutritionists suggest changing your cooking oils every month to ensure that you get all the essential nutrients.
  • Oils, except sesame oil, olive oil and ghee, should not be consumed raw. Heat the oil well when you are cooking. Avoid adding raw oil over the cooked food. 

Use oil judiciously to enhance the taste of food and also enjoy better health benefits.

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Maria JosephMaria Joseph

An experienced Montessori trained teacher who loves to play with children, eat chocolates, watch the rain, watch movies and to read.

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