DHA has actually recently gained much attention, and is now appearing in unexpected locations – from eggs to baby foods to milk. However why should we appreciate DHA?
Benefits of DHA for Children
DHA stands for “docosahexaenoic acid.” It is a polyunsaturated omega-3 fat (22:6 n3) and is considered an advantageous fat. DHA is crucial for the optimal advancement and function of the brain, eyes, and main nerve system during infancy and childhood. The brain proliferates throughout the first years of life, and DHA usage by the brain is significant during this time. Due to the fact that DHA comprises a big part of the brain and the retinas of the eyes, a deficiency could adversely affect the development or function of these organs. Studies revealed that babies with higher DHA levels have better mental and visual function. In addition, children who were breastfed tend to have greater IQ scores and better academic efficiency than those who were formula-fed; this is believed to be partly related to the high DHA content of breastmilk.
How Much DHA is Adequate for a Child?
Although there are no main consumption recommendations for DHA in children, studies showed that actual consumptions are far less than adequate for optimum development and development. While the majority of experts advise a minimum of 100 to 150 milligrams of DHA for kids per day, actual intakes appear to be closer to 20 to 50 milligrams daily just. A 3 oz serving of salmon offers about 600 mg of DHA.
DHA is essential for brain and eye development and function throughout the life stages, however is especially crucial during the first two years of life and early youth. In between birth and five years of age, the human brain increases roughly 3.5 times in its total mass!
What ready Sources of DHA?
Babies get DHA from breastmilk, where it is found naturally. Baby solutions are now being supplemented with DHA. But when young kids are weaned from breastmilk or formula to solid foods, their intake of DHA tends to decrease.
Natural sources of DHA are discovered in:
- Organ meats
- Seafood, especially oily, cold-water fish such as salmon, herring, sardines, and anchovies
Nevertheless, young children should restrict their consumption of fish due to mercury contamination. Children under 6 years of ages might eat half of a can (3 oz) of portion light tuna weekly. In addition, they can have another seafood meal low in mercury that week, such as salmon, herring, sardines, anchovies, cod, shellfish, trout, pollock, or catfish. If your child consumes albacore tuna: restrict it to one child-sized serving (3 oz/half of a can or less) each week, and avoid other fish that week. A young child’s portion size depends upon his/her weight and varies from 1 oz for a 20-pound child to 3 oz for a 60-pound child.
For safer options to gain DHA’s health benefits, choose foodstuff that are fortified with algae-derived DHA
How to Take advantage of DHA
It’s actually not difficult to make sure your child takes in enough DHA. For example, a weekly intake of two DHA-enriched eggs plus one child-sized serving of fish (one ounce of fish per 20 pounds of body weight) that is rich in DHA and lower in mercury, such as salmon or herring, can supply much – if not all – of the DHA your child needs.