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Essential Healthy Fats for Babies & Toddlers (And How to Cook With Them)

essential healthy fats for baby and toddler

Make sure that your baby or toddler is getting the essential healthy fats they need with this simple guide – including easy recipes and practical tips from a mom of two. 

Remember in the 90s when everyone got really scared of fats for a hot minute? Everything quickly became “low-fat” and “no-fat” and “reduced fat” and suddenly according to the USDA guidelines a Poptart was healthier than an avocado. WHAT THE WHAT? Then seemingly out of nowhere people started getting on board with this trendy thing called The Mediterranean Diet and it came to light that there were different kinds of fats: healthy fats, trans fats, saturated fats, the list goes on. Of course after so many years of the word “fat” getting such a bad wrap in the food world, it’s hard to convince people to eat butter, you know? And yet here I am, writing to convince other parents of the benefits of feeding their kids essential healthy fats.

So here’s the thing. Everyone is worried about childhood obesity, and rightfully so. Have you seen the drive thru line at McDonald’s lately? But here’s the good thing: not all fats are created equal. Even more so than adults, babies and kids need healthy fats for their brain development (among other things). Of course this doesn’t mean you need to slather butter on everything – just make the following foods a balanced part of everyone’s diet. Like with most things, it’s all about moderation.

Today, let’s drop some knowledge about the most essential healthy fats for our little ones.

Bonus: these recipes also contain superfoods for adults (yes, we need healthy fats, too) and even more importantly, pregnant women! So load up baby’s plate, and yours, and let’s get eating.

Essential Healthy Fats for Babies & Toddlers

essential healthy fats for baby and toddlers

Healthy Fats – Cooking

  • Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil (we are obsessed with Whole Foods 365 Spanish Unfiltered EVOO – talk about flavor)
  • 100% Avocado Oil (we like Chosen Foods Brand)
  • Organic Grassfed Butter (such as Kerrygold or Vital Farms)

Healthy Fats – Dairy

  • Organic Plain Whole Milk Yogurt (we like Stonyfield Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt)
  • Organic Whole Milk (Harper drinks Whole Goat’s Milk instead of cow’s milk, you can read about the benefits of it, here)
  • Organic Grassfed Butter (such as Kerrygold or Vital Farms)

Healthy Fats – Protein

  • Organic or Local Eggs (if you can get them – the taste is just…just…try them, promise me, or if you can get Vital Farms Eggs – buy those!)
  • Wild Salmon (we buy the 2 pack of frozen Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon at Whole Foods – it’s a good price and bonus, won’t go bad in the fridge!)
  • High-Quality Tuna (such as Wild Planet)
  • Avocados (enough said)
  • Nuts & Seeds (chia seeds, flaxseeds, almonds, cashews, peanuts, etc.) When it comes to giving nuts and seeds to babies or young kids, it’s best to stick to thinly spread nut butters as nuts can be a choking hazard

Alright, so now we know about which Essential Healthy Fats are best for baby, toddler (and us!), so the real question is, how can you make sure your baby or toddler is getting enough healthy fats on a daily basis?

(And How to Cook with Them)


Greek Scramble with Avocado Toast (cook the eggs in good quality butter)

Spinach & Banana Yogurt Melts or Coconut Creamsicle Smoothie


Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich from Skinnytaste

Avocado Tuna Salad from Simply Recipes

Almond Butter & Fresh Fruit on Whole Grain Bread (we like Eureka Organic Bread or Dave’s Killer Bread)


Quinoa Salmon Burgers (cook in Avocado Oil) from Skinnytaste

Breakfast for Dinner

Grilled Mediterranean Cedar Plank Salmon from Skinnytaste


10 Minute No-Bake Snack Bites from Live Simply

Yogurt Bark

Harboiled Eggs

Unsalted Pretzels or Whole Grain Crackers dipped in Hummus or Almond Butter

Avocado Toast

Organic Cheddar Cheese Sticks

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Don’t Forget to Pin It for Later!

Do you ever worry whether or not your baby has enough healthy fats in their diet? Click through to get some amazing information on what kinds of healthy fats your baby should be eating!

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or nutritionist, just sharing my real experiences as a mom! 

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  • Reply
    The Ox Mama
    September 5, 2016 at 11:49 PM

    Love this list! We are hoping to get goats soon and start doing goats milk full time! We raise sucks for eggs to because of the health differences between duck and chicken eggs!

    • Reply
      September 6, 2016 at 9:01 AM

      That’s amazing! I seriously have always wanted to have a goat! I bet those eggs taste amazing.

  • Reply
    September 8, 2016 at 8:58 PM

    Really great suggestions! I feel like I always run out of ideas for meals for my little guy! Thanks!

    • Reply
      September 8, 2016 at 9:03 PM

      Thank you! Glad to help!

  • Reply
    Amanda Wells
    September 8, 2016 at 11:27 PM

    Great ideas! We love our healthy fats too. Sometimes I’ll add a couple teaspoons of coconut oil to our smoothies too😊

    • Reply
      September 10, 2016 at 12:47 PM

      That’s an awesome idea! I’m definitely going to try that!

    Share your thoughts!