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When should I add good fats to my child's diet?

A friend suggested that I include more good fats in my son’s diet - he’s a year old and still breast-feeding infrequently. Can you tell me how best to include these in his diet?

Naturopath Gemma Hurditch answers for CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine)

I used to spread tahini, (a nutrient-rich sesame paste), onto oat crackers with some raw honey and the kids would go wild for them. Tahini is very rich in calcium, which is great for growing bones. You can use the same trick with nut butters - whole nuts are a choking hazard for young kids, but almond butter, cashew paste and various other nut pastes are very nutritious. At his age a lot of children may have developed a taste for sweeter foods, so mixing with a little raw honey (which is advised from one year onwards) can ease him into the new flavours.

However, it is best to offer nut butters without the honey first. As sesame seeds and nuts have allergenic potential, always do a skin patch test with the food you want to introduce before you actually offer it.

Avocado is another tasty treat - mash it up and put it onto other foods such as sweet potato cubes, or alongside chicken or fish.

He is not too young to start having my favourite good fat - extra virgin olive oil. Best added at the table to finish the dish - I put it on everything, salad vegetables, pasta, steamed vegetables, legumes - it improves nearly every dish. Just keep a face cloth handy for the oily hands and face!

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