Aug 01

Omega-3 for kids

What is Omega-3.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that your body needs but cannot produce. For this reason, they’re classified as essential fatty acids. 

There are many fatty acids that belong to the omega-3 family. The most important ones are EPA, DHA, and ALA.

Omega-3 for kids
Omega-3 fats are an essential part of the body’s structural cell membranes. On consumption, the fats get accumulated in the cell tissues and enrich certain parts of the body. Omega-3s play an important role in cell and cell receptor functioning by performing the role of molecules that enable important communication between cells

Omega-3 is vital in preventing disorders and ailments, aiding in treatments and relieving symptoms such as:

Heart disease, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, ADHD, skin problems, memory loss, dyslexia, asthma, obesity.

Omega-3 is very important for your child's development. The body requires omega-3 to function but is unable to produce its own; as a result of this it is vital that you and your child are consuming foods with omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 has many benefits and helps to avoid medical conditions such as; skin problems, heart problems and joint problems.

Benefits of Omega-3:

Supporting a child’s cognitive development. An Oxford University study found that children who were given foods enriched with omega-3 fatty acids showed better social skills, hand-eye coordination, intelligent test scores (IQ) and attention span. 

Essential for better vision or eye function – this is very important for children growing up in a generation of smartphones and technology which can sometimes to lead to impaired vision.

Helps with mental health; reports suggest that ADHD children usually have low levels of omega-3 fatty acids. The children who have ADHD that were put on the supplement course showed moderate improvements in some of the symptoms present such as socialising and emotions. Other mental health problems that omega-3 helps with include bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. Memory function is also helped as fatty acids are present in the brain.

The same study revealed that higher levels of omega-3 in a child’s blood can enhance their ability to learn and behave better: these children had fewer memory-related problems and also improved their reading skills.

Foods rich in Omega-3:

  • Fish; including salmon, cod liver, tuna, sardines, halibut, herring, trout
  • Shrimp
  • Oysters
  • Flaxseeds
  • Walnuts
  • Soya beans
  • Chia seeds

How much Omega-3 is necessary for children? 
A table showing how much omega-3 your child will need

Age

Boys

Girls

0-12 month

0.5 g/day

0.5 g/day

1-3 years

0.7 g/day

0.7 g/day

4-8 years

0.9 g/day

0.9 g/day

9-13 years

1.2 g/day

1 g/day

14-18 years

1.6 g/day

1.1 g/day


It may be difficult for your child to eat fish; they may not be fond of the taste of it or even allergic to it. If this is the case, then it may be a better option to use an omega-3 supplement.

ActiKid: Nourishing the next generation 

This article contains general information regarding health and well-being. This information is not intended as advice and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to advice from medical or educational professionals.