My 4 year old grand-daughter has high cholesterol (329). The doctor doesn't know what's causing it. He thinks it may be hereditary since her grandparents and great-grandparents all have high cholesterol. She is so unhappy that she can't eat her favorite foods. No one has given us a plan, menu, or recipes that we can use to keep her healthy. She is about 3'6" and about 33 lbs _ not obese at all. We avoid fast foods and fried foods. She drinks skim milk and rarely is allowed ice cream. What can we feed her? Is it true that the cholesterol numbers, for children, are the same as for adults? What should we be most concerned about?
Usually when children do have high cholesterol, it is from hereditary origins. You are correct; your granddaughter is in the normal range for her height and weight. Research has shown that it is the quality of fat that makes the difference in lowering cholesterol, not an overall lowering of all fats. It is recommended that all trans fats and saturated fats are not consumed, but omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats can be eaten. To break that down simply it means nuts, seeds, and peanut/olive oils can be eaten. She can have low fat frozen yogurt as an ice cream and there are many types on the market that taste just like ice cream. It is ok to let her have 2 teaspoons of trans fat-free margarine on her bread or in her vegetables and nuts as a snack. How about baked chips, pretzels or popcorn popped in peanut oil as snacks. I hope this helped. Thank you for your question.
Was your grand-daughter checked for a thyroid condition? I would assume that what can occur to adults with a dysfunctional thyroid (high cholesterol being one of them), could occur with children as well.
If she only received 1 test that revealed elevated Cholesterol, I'd want a re-test...just in case it was a lab error.
The "normal" Cholesterol levels in children 4 years of age is: Cholesterol less than 170 and LDL less than 110. Children with total Cholesterol levels above 300 are usually put on a cholesterol-lowering medication. High cholesterol can be from the diet. It is important that children eat a good healthy fat for proper growth and health. Total consumed fats should be around 300mg/day. A diet very low in fats is not recommended for children under 19 years of age. Feed your child a wide variety of foods, especially veggies with bright colors. Proteins should be low in fat, but not devoid of fat. Make McDonalds a special treat; about once a month. Fast food, pre-packaged foods, pizza, chicken nuggets, etc. should be avoided altogether. Read the labels and keep track of total fat eaten. Non-fat milk is a waste of time drinking. Children need the fat, so go for the 2% or whole milk and factor it into the total fat intake for the day. Children are often given supplements of calcium, iron (drink citrus for absorption), zinc, and niacin when the cholsterol if very high. Always talk to the doctor before giving medications, (even OTC) before giving any to a child. Know also that diet alone may not work to lower total cholesterol. Every cell in the body requires cholesterol. If the body doesn't think it is getting enough cholesterol from food to keep itself in supply, it will make it's own cholesterol. In these cases, Statin drugs are given to bring the levels down. As far as ice cream goes, skip it and go for the yummy popcicles. good luck
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