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Health Tip: Monitor Fat in Preschoolers' Diet

(HealthDay News) -- Once children reach the age of 4, they will need less fat than in the first years of life.

Experts say parents should monitor dietary fat to help children maintain a healthy weight and establish good eating habits early in life.

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers this advice on reducing fat in your preschooler's diet:

  • From age 1 to 2, children with a family history of heart disease, obesity or high cholesterol should drink 2 percent reduced-fat milk.

  • All children should be switched to 1 percent low-fat milk after the second birthday.

  • Serve your child lean meats, grilled fish or broiled fish.

  • Limit the amount of cheese your child eats.

  • Limit fruit juice to 4 oz. to 6 oz. per day of 100 percent fruit juice, and offer whole fruits as much as possible.

  • Offer low-fat snacks such as fat-free yogurt, pretzels or fresh fruit.

  • Prepare foods using lower-fat cooking methods such as broiling, roasting and steaming. Use small amounts of olive oil or nonstick cooking spray.