The Benefits of Omega 3 for Kids
Omega 3 fatty acids are an important part of everyone’s diet. They are especially important for kids and babies because they are key to healthy growth and brain development.
Getting the right amount of these essential nutrients can be tough because they are only found in certain foods. If you’re a parent of picky eaters, you may find it challenging to make sure your kid gets their recommended daily allowance (RDA). Omega-3 supplements like fish oil can help make it easier.
Here’s why omega-3s are so important to growing kids.
What are Omega 3s?
Omega-3s are types of fatty acids that play important roles in the body. They may also provide a number of health benefits.
Omega-3s are an essential part of normal growth and development. There are three types: ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosatetraenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).
ALA is the most common type of omega-3. It is mainly used for energy. EPA has several functions in the body and part of it can be converted into DHA.
DHA is the most important omega-3 fatty acid in the body because it affects so many different systems.
Why do kids need Omega-3?
DHA is key to healthy brain development and eye development. It is also key to the development of the central nervous system.
Omega-3s as a family also play a role in the development of the immune system and help maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure.
This is why omega-3s are so important for kids - they are essential to our body’s development. This is especially true of DHA.
A lack of omega-3 DHA has been linked to cognitive and behavioral issues in kids. Getting enough omega-3s, especially DHA, during the early stages of childhood is important to healthy growth and development.
How do we get Omega-3s?The body cannot produce omega-3s on its own, so we must get them through the foods we eat. Not getting enough omega-3s is thought to be a factor in a number of different diseases.
Foods that are high in omega-3s include:
- Fatty fish
- Fish oil
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Flaxseed oil
- Soybeans and tofu
- Canola oil
These foods may be high in omega-3s, but the super important DHA is mainly found in fatty fish and fish oil.
What if Diet isn’t Enough?
Since omega-3s are found mainly in foods like fish, it can be hard to get kids to eat enough to get their RDA.
If your child doesn’t get enough DHA or omega-3 through their diet, they may benefit from taking fish oil supplements. Fish oil supplements may help bridge the gap in their diet.
But even fish oil supplements can leave a bad taste in your kids mouth – literally!
Kids Smart Fish Oil is different than other kids fish oil supplements. Kids Smart has all the benefits of fish oil, including high levels of DHA, without the fishy aftertaste.
Kids Smart burstlets are fun to eat. They burst right on your tongue! But if your child is super picky, you can break open a Kids Smart burstlet and squeeze it straight onto their food to the hide the taste.
- WebMD, "Omega-3 Fatty Acids", article by R. Morgan Griffin and medically reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on May 20, 2021. Accessed Feb 23, 2022: https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-omega-3-fatty-acids
- González, F. E., & Báez, R. V. (2017). IN TIME: IMPORTANCE OF OMEGA 3 IN CHILDREN'S NUTRITION. IN TIME: IMPORTÂNCIA DOS ÔMEGA 3 NA NUTRIÇÃO INFANTIL. Revista paulista de pediatria : orgao oficial da Sociedade de Pediatria de Sao Paulo, 35(1), 3–4. https://doi.org/10.1590/1984-0462/;2017;35;1;00018 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5417803/
- Healthline, "What Are Omega-3 Fatty Acids? Explained in Simple Terms," article written by Kris Gunnars, BSc on May 23, 2019. Accessed on Feb 23, 2022: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/what-are-omega-3-fatty-acids
- Melissa Beltz