Expert Articles

Dietary Fats and Health

Author: Leslie Chan (Registered Dietitian)

Carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are the main macronutrients in our diet, with carbohydrates being the most consumed on a daily basis, with an intake of about 200 grams per day. As for fats, being another macronutrient, the daily intake is only a few tens of grams. However, when calculated in the same amount, fats have the highest calorie content, leading many people to mistakenly believe that fats are “high in calories” and unhealthy. But for rapidly developing infants, fats are an ideal source of calories, just like breast milk itself, which is rich in fats. At the same time, fats contain various fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. When consumed appropriately, fats can become good companions for the growth of infants. In addition to providing important energy for infant growth and development, fats also contain different fat-soluble vitamins that are crucial for their height growth and immune system. Adequate fatty acids, including various omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, cannot be produced by the body itself and must be obtained from food.

As infants grow, some vegetables require chewing and swallowing in their original form. When cooking, a small amount of cooking oil should be added to make the vegetables more lubricated and easier to chew. For cooking oils used in infant food, it is advisable to choose oils that contain higher amounts of unsaturated fatty acids and antioxidant nutrients, which can contribute to the healthy development of infants. Establishing a habit of consuming high-fiber grain foods from a young age and, when cooking high-fiber foods, adding a certain amount of vegetable oil can increase the softness of the food, making it easier to consume and preventing choking in infants. The fat content in egg yolk is also a source of nutrition, as cholesterol can be converted into various hormones needed by the body. Egg yolks also contain vitamin D and iron, which are particularly important for infant development. For vegetarian infants, parents may consider supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids derived from seaweed or other vegetarian sources.

High-Fiber Apple Pancakes
(Suitable for infants aged 6 months and above.)


  • 1 egg
  • 40 grams of sugar
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 150 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 50 grams of whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 apple (150 grams)
  • 80-100 millilitres of water


  1. Beat the egg in a bowl and mix in the sugar and vegetable oil.
  2. Once well mixed, stir in the yogurt.
  3. Sift the flour and mix in the baking powder and salt.
  4. Pour the egg and yogurt mixture into the flour.
  5. Peel and grate the apple, then mix the grated apple into the batter.
  6. Gradually add water to achieve a suitable consistency for frying (thinner batter).
  7. Heat a non-stick skillet and add a small amount of cooking oil.
  8. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of batter onto the skillet over medium heat.  Cook for 50 seconds, then flip and cook for another minute until golden brown.
  9. Transfer the pancake to a plate and repeat the process to make 6–8 pancakes.

Sources of Fats: Cheese, Vegetable Oil, Eggs

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Dietary Fats and Health