Kid’s and DHA: Sources of Omega 3

Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 03:12 PM
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The Ultimate Omega-3 Diet, by Evelyn Tribole, MS,RD.  States that DHA is needed for brain development the same way calcium is required for bone growth. She says that each brain cell requires DHA for proper development. When DHA isn’t present in adequate quantities during rapid brain growth (early childhood), emotional and intellectual development can be affected.

“Children require omega-3 fatty acids the same way they require vitamins,” Tribole says when asked the one thing she wants parents to know about omega-3 fatty acids. “Parents need to understand that it’s not just DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) their children need, it’s also EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).”

Based on international guideline recommends:

Children 2-3 years old get 433mg of DHA/EPA with a minimum of 145mg of DHA Children 4-6 years old get 600mg of DHA/EPA with a minimum of 200mg of DHA
Children 7 years and older get 650mg of DHA/EPA with a minimum of 220 DHA Adults get 650mg of DHA/EPA with a minimum of 220 DHA

Check the supplement facts label to see how much DHA/EPA is in each serving.

Children and adults need to eat fish at least twice a week to get the recommended amount of DHA. Parents can try fish tacos, tuna fish sandwiches or salmon patties.

As dieticians we always prefer whole food for obtaining the necessary vitamins and minerals needed for growth and development. Don’t be afraid to supplement when fish is not available to be eaten in the diet.