For years we've been told that eating fatty fish or taking an Omega 3 fish oil supplement is good for us. It may help reduce cancer risk, heart disease, and memory loss. But how does this translate to kids? Here's little info/research on the use of Omega3 supplementation in kids.
Supports learning ability and behavior in kids.
May reduce ADHD behavior.
Reduces aggressive and antisocial behavior.
Fish oil or Omega 3 supplements come with 2 types of fat in them, EPA and DHA. Both have anti-inflammatory benefits; and this is why I recommend taking them together instead of just focusing on DHA for brain health. I've been giving Fredrik a supplement for several months now just to act as an "insurance policy." The recommended amount of DHA/day for kids 1-3 years old is 70mg. I take 1-2 of the Orthomolecular Springboard Omegas and pierce them with the tip of a knife and squeeze the oil into one of his bottles for an extra 90mg DHA and 50mg EPA. He hasn't been too keen on eating salmon, sardines, or oysters yet so I figure this, along with the DHA he gets from breast milk and formula, is hopefully setting his brain up for success. (Before he becomes a teen, has his own money, and rebels by eating fast food...)
I really like Orthomolecular products, but if you cannot find a medical professional near you who sells them, try Nordic Naturals instead. They are a well known brand sold in most health food stores, Whole Foods, and other retailers. Just like Orthomolecular their products supply fatty acids in the triglyceride form not the esther form which is much less absorbable. Ryan and I taste tested their kids chewable capsules compared to Orthomolecular and decided the Nordic Naturals was much tastier. Nordic Naturals also carries a gummy supplement that would work too. Good quality fish oil is more expensive; and it's worth it. Cheap fish oil, is often in the ester form and not well absorbed by the body. Also, that big-box store size container of fish oil is probably rancid leaving the fish oil more inflammatory than anti-inflammatory. Dr. Chris Kressor did a deep dive into fish consumption and fish oil (omega 3 supplementation). Since I try to keep my posts short, I'm defering to his page for more in depth information on these topics. Need even more research and digestible information? Head over to Gene Food's fish oil article.
Other food sources of pre-formed omega 3 fats include: egg yolks (1=50mg DHA), fatty fish like sardines, anchovies, trout, salmon, and herring, whole fat dairy, algae, and krill oil.
Sorry/not sorry....the ALA found in flax, chia, and walnuts is not readily converted into EPA/DHA in most people.
I'm a dietitian with a passion for good nutrition, bold flavors, playing in the dirt, and being with my family.