Dietary fat requirement in children – an absence of logic?

I spotted this today.  A letter from Dickerson College Childcare Center.

 “Dear DCCC Families: On October 3, 2011, in order to meet the recommendations of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines of Americans, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is requiring its Centers to serve fat-free milk to children ages two and up. Because we participate in this program for morning and afternoon snack, in order for our snacks to be reimbursed by the CACFP, we will be required to make the change from 2% to fat-free milk.”

So funding issues dictates choice, regardless that the workers at the Center probably know better.  Logic would dictate that a 2-year-old would be well served by a milk that had a fat content similar to that of the milk they had from their mother (around 3-4% fat).  More importantly, the types of fat they consume are critical.  Promotion of ω−3 fatty acid content and cholesterol are surely key, as the developing child’s brain requires these.

The Dietary Guidelines referred to can be found here.

Vegetarian mothers, confident that they are supplying their offspring with DHA, need to bear in mind that the conversion rate of the vegetarian source of the ω−3 fatty acid ALA, the precursor of DHA and EPA is poor – typically around 1%.  And trying to lower your total cholesterol?  Hmmm….

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