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A child’s brain quadruples in weight before the age of six and is approximately 90% of its adult volume.[i] Additionally, the human brain is made up of almost 60% fat,[ii] showing just how important fats are for developing children.
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that can’t be made by the body and so have to be obtained from the diet. These vital fats are found in oily fish, which have an algae-rich diet, such as sardines, mackerel and salmon. However, in 2018 the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) showed on average all children in the UK consume well below the recommended one portion per week of oily fish.
If you suspect your child is lacking in fatty acids, look out for the following signs and symptoms:
Fish oils in particular provide high levels of two specific omega-3 fats: Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have different actions in the body. DHA is a structural component of brain cells and so is vital for brain function and vision development. EPA and DHA contribute to the normal heart function.
When choosing an essential fatty acid supplement, there are some key factors to consider:
Our new Children’s OmegaCare is a palatable liquid designed for both daily use to bridge a gap in the diet and for higher therapeutic doses. It is flavoured with orange essential oil and tastes great, however if your little ones are still struggling you could add it into a smoothie or mix into some yoghurt.
Take daily with food or as professionally directed. Shake well before use.
From 1 year - ¼ teaspoon (1.25ml). From 3 years - ½ teaspoon (2.5ml). Once opened, refrigerate and consume within 4 months.
The brand you can talk to:
Or head to our advice page where you can find Healthnotes.
[i] Brown and Jernigan. Brain development during the preschool years. Neuropsychol Rev. 2012; 22(4):313-333
[ii] Chang CY1 et al. Essential fatty acids and human brain. Acta Neurol Taiwan. 2009;18(4):231-41.
[iii] Richardson, A. et al (2000). Fatty acid deficiency signs predict the severity of reading and related difficulties in dyslexic children. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids (PLEFA), 63(1-2), pp.69-74.
[iv] Yaqoob P, et al. Encapsulated fish oil enriched in alpha-tocopherol alters plasma phospholipid and mononuclear cell fatty acid compositions but not mononuclear cell functions. Eur J Clin Invest. 2000 Mar; 30 (3): 260-74.
[v] Richardson, A. (2004). Clinical trials of fatty acid treatment in ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia and the autistic spectrum. Prostaglandins, Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids, 70(4), pp.383-390.