What is DHA and Why Is It Important for Kids?
Docosahexaenoic Acid or DHA is a critical omega-3 fatty acid that plays a significant part in brain development and function. This role makes DHA essential to learning, visual development, coordination, and cognitive development. DHA is also important for expectant mothers to help their baby develop normally. Prenatal supplements should include 200 mg of DHA according to the March of Dimes. While DHA rich fish oil may not be anybody’s idea of a replacement for Five Guys burgers and fries, it’s an essential nutrient even into adulthood.
Where to Get It
Fortunately, it’s easy to find sources of DHA even in the grocery store. Salmon, trout, herring, anchovies, and halibut are all low in mercury and high in DHA. As little as 8 ounces of salmon can top you all for the week. Additionally, eggs, milk, and orange juice also come fortified with this nutrient. However, giving some of these nutrients to children can be challenging. They may not appreciate the taste of oily fish, and dietary sensitivities are allergies may put fortified eggs and milk on the no-no list. And, honestly, nobody likes the taste of straight fish oil – except cats.
DHA for Children – That They Will Like
Supplements for kids can’t just be cut down from adult products. Children are not miniature adults and need to have their supplements formulated exclusively for their age group and needs. Look for supplements that have been formulated by a holistic pediatrician and have solid track records and reviews.
Most of all, make sure that the supplements taste good to the child. Kids don’t want to take what they don’t want to taste, so making it an appealing part of the day is a key to developing the habit. Good nutrition is important, and supplements are no substitute for a good diet, but in combination, they can help each other and your child to grow up healthy and strong.