Poor cholesterol, it gets such a bad rap. Without cholesterol our bodies couldn’t function properly. It’s used to form hormones, help digest and transport fats, and is a crucial ingredient in the make-up of our cells. Eating any type of food that is derived from animals adds cholesterol to our diets. This includes all meats and seafood, eggs, and all types of dairy including cheese.
How Much Cholesterol is healthy?
Your children, even you as an adult, only need around 300 milligrams (mg) or less per day since our bodies do a great job of making its own cholesterol.
For example, one day of cholesterol in your child’s diet looks like:
(This cholesterol nutrient information is approximate for demonstration purposes)
To help our children balance their diet and make lifelong healthy choices, add fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your child’s daily intake.
This is what our one day of cholesterol looks like in a balanced diet.
Is Cholesterol Linked to Protein?
The reason I bring this topic up is because so many parents ask me about how much protein their children should be eating. Since cholesterol is contained in all meat protein sources, I suggest also including non-meat protein sources in your child’s diet. Please watch my “How Much Protein Should My Child Have?” video for tips on the amount of protein to feed your child along with suggestions of meat and non-meat protein sources. Click here to view the video.
Is Cholesterol Bad for Kids?
The answer is no as long as it is eaten at around 300mg or less per day on average. Keeping your child’s diet well-balanced on a daily basis will help keep the cholesterol intake at a reasonable level.
Cholesterol becomes “bad” for your child if it is consumed in larger amounts over a long-period of time. If your child appears to be eating too much cholesterol, chances are that too much “unhealthy fats” are also being consumed. If your child is overweight, please ask your child’s pediatrician to check their cholesterol level.
If you are concerned about your child’s cholesterol level, please consult your child’s Pediatrician and/or a Registered Dietitian at Sharp Nutrition LLC for an evaluation.
Stay tuned for upcoming blogs and YouTube videos on more nutritional topics by Sharp Nutrition LLC.
Let’s set sail and capture the hidden treasures in Smoothies. You can blend all sorts of wonderful and nutritious foods for your children. For a snack this afternoon my kids went on a treasure hunt in the pantry for chocolate chips. After blending all of the fabulously nutritious ingredients, I stirred in a small handful of mini-chocolate chips - their treat to complement my “hidden treasures.” My children polished off two servings of my special Raspberry Power smoothie (see recipe below). They were happy with the little bits of chocolate. I was happy with the nutrients they didn’t realize they were drinking.
Get creative and think about the flavors your children enjoy. Use the fruits that are in season, or blend in your favorite frozen fruits. Once you have your fruit choices, test some add-ins that pack a nutrient punch.
Here are just a few ad-in tips:
I’d love to hear any good ad-in tips that you have come up with.
Beware of the ready-made smoothies you purchase at grocery stores or at some smoothie stands. Many are filled with added sugar, are high in calories and low in nutrients. Oddly enough, some don’t even contain real fruit. There is plenty of natural sugar in a natural fruit smoothie, so we don’t need to add any more. Be careful, if your kids catch you serving them a fake smoothie, they might just make you walk the plank.
Here is the recipe I made today:
Raspberry Power Smoothie
1 Tbsp Flaxseed
1/3 cup walnuts pieces
3 Medjool Dates, softened
6 grape tomatoes
1 Persian cucumber
1/3 cup frozen baby kale
3/4 cup almond milk
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 medium banana, frozen
1 cup frozen strawberries
¼ cup mini chocolate chips
1. To soften the dates: Boil water in the microwave. Place dates in a glass bowl. Pour the boiling water over the dates. Let sit for 5 minutes. Note: If you have a power blender (ex. Vitamix) you can skip this step.
2. Place the flaxseed, walnuts, softened dates, tomatoes, cucumber, baby kale, and almond milk into a blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Add in the frozen fruit. Blend until just mixed. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Ahoy Matey! Lift up your glass and toast the wonderful Smoothie.
Please let me know any topics you may be interested in.
More videos coming soon!
Kari Sharp, RDN
is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a mission to help children and their families achieve a healthful and nutritious lifestyle.