Science has understood the benefits of omega 3 essential fatty acids for some time and these benefits extend to the health of our children. Omega 3 fatty acids are as important in the diet of our children as it is in the diet of adults, and right from conception.
Omega 3 essential fatty acids are found in fish oil. Kids, like adults, should have a minimum intake of Omega3 fats for healthy development and this is now being highlighted by a new study by Associate Professor Barbara Meyer from the University of Wollongong’s School of Health Sciences in Australia. This study has found that children in Australia are highly deficient in omega 3. Children in America will be exactly the same.
In this study it was found that 3 year old children had an average intake of omega 3 essential fats of 47 milligrams and the professor who undertook the study described this intake as “desperately low”.
DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) are the 2 most important essential fatty acids found in fish oil known as Omega 3. Kids in the US, as well as Australia, have levels of these essential fatty acids that are way too low. The deficiency of omega 3 in children has a range of health implications for our kids.
A child’s requirement for omega 3 fats starts right at conception. The study noted that brain development was extremely fast during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and that for adequate brain development an adequate level of DHA was essential. And it also noted that the first 2 years of infancy was equally important for brain development and placed an equal demand on DHA levels.
Children are unable to supplement their diets. This is a decision made by their parents. Parents ought seriously consider increasing their own intake of Omega3 fats as well as increasing the intake in their children of fish oil. Kids health depends upon the decisions made by their parents.
And it’s not just the brain development of our children that is negatively affected by a low intake of Omega 3. Kids have a range of other developmental and health issues, all of which can benefit from increasing their intake of fish oil. Kids with inadequate levels of omega 3 have a higher risk of asthma, slower brain development, slower visual development, in some cases lower IQ and also an increased risk of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as other health issues.
Clearly there are serious issues involved when considering the supplementation of omega 3 in children. This can be achieved by increasing their intake of fish however there are various issues associated with this including mercury contamination, the price of fish and the well known dislike of fish by children.
I have been supplementing the diet of my children with omega 3 cost effectively and simply. I use the best Omega 3 capsules (which I take myself) and cut the top off and pour the fish oil onto their breakfast and they are unaware it is there.
The decisions of parents about what their children eat are important ones affecting the development of their children. Omega 3 supplementation is cost effective and simple and is important right from the conception of the child. Even during breastfeeding omega 3 supplementation by mothers increases the amount of DHA available to the infant in the breastmilk.
However not all Omega 3 capsules are as good as others. There are many issues relating to the quantity of DHA present in the capsules, the freshness of the fish oil used, (fish oil oxidizes quickly) and the effectiveness of the fatty acids.
On my website I explain which omega 3 capsules I use for my own children (and myself). Visit my website to find out.