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Are your kids getting enough omega-3s?

Omega-3 requirements for kids

You've probably heard that omega-3s (fatty acids like DHA, ALA and EPA) are an important nutrient that our bodies need. They are vital for many things including brain function, as well as cardiovascular health. Did you know that omega-3s are especially important for your children, starting even before they are born? Here, we'll tell you what your children need at each stage of development.

toddlers and omega-3s

Once children transition away from formula and breast milk and begin eating solid foods, it can often be difficult to make sure they are getting the following amount of omega-3s/DHA, as recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board in the US:

  • 70mg/day for children ages 1-3 years
  • 90mg/day for children ages 4-8 years
  • 120 mg/day for children ages 9-13 years

sources of omega-3s for toddlers

Flaxseed oil is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. It is recommended that children and adults take one tablespoon of flaxseed for every 100 pounds of body weight. Unlike fish oil, parents can use flaxseed oil as an ingredient in salad dressings, on hot cereal or in yogurt. It is suggested that actually cooking with the oil (adding it to muffins, for example) may decrease the potency of the nutrients.

Omega-3s are naturally found in foods like tuna fish, walnuts, soybeans, Brussels sprouts, beef from grass-fed cattle, cauliflower, collard greens and cabbage. Omega-3-enriched eggs are an easy way to incorporate more omega-3 fat into a child's diet. The eggs are produced by feeding the laying hens a diet of 10 to 20 percent ground flaxseed.

Omega-3s For the Older Kids

The easiest way for your children to get their daily amount of omega-3s are kid-friendly gummy supplements that hide the usual "fishy" taste with flavors your children will enjoy. Ground flaxseed is another option and can be sprinkled on top of cereals for an extra crunch or added to a fruit smoothie.

More on the benefits of omega-3s

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