PARENTS MAKE SURE YOUR CHILDREN GET YOUR OMEGA 3S BY EATING THE FOLLOWING FOODS DAILY
Omega 3s, a special kind of polyunsaturated fat, is important for children as well as for adults. Since they are found only in a limited number of foods, especially cold-water fish, parents need to make a special effort to ensure their children get this crucial nutrient.
Researchers continue to find that two Omega 3s, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and arachidonic acid (ARA), may have major health benefits for children. For example, one recent study found that eating foods rich in DHA fatty acids may help protect high-risk children from developing type 1 diabetes. Other studies suggest that DHA and AHA, when added to infant formula, aid the development of the brain and improve eyesight.
Babies get omega 3s naturally from breast milk, which is the recommended nutrition for infants. But when babies need to be fed formula, look for a major brand that includes these omega 3s.
For toddlers, fish is by far the richest natural source of omega-3 fatty acids, but with all the worries about mercury contamination, children are eating less fish than ever. Help your child learn to enjoy seafood such as salmon, shrimp, canned light (not white) tuna and pollock, which all contain omega 3s and have the lowest levels of mercury.
For babies, you can puree a mild fish with a higher omega-3 variety like salmon, mixing it with steamed veggies and grated cheese. For toddlers and preschoolers, try salmon kabobs and tiny salmon patties. Also look for foods fortified with DHA; the version added to food is made from algae or purified fish oil.
One fish to stay away from is tilapia. It is high in mega 6, a fatty acid we generally get too much of and which can have unhealthy effects in disproportionate amounts.