Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for a child’s brain function and overall growth and development. According to Dr. William Sears, M.D. in “The NDD Book,” ”a deficiency of omega-3 fats is the number one nutritional problem in kids.” While the recommended daily dose of omega-3 for children depends on the age and medical condition of the child, Dr. Sears makes some general recommendations in “The NDD Book”. For infants under 9 months of age, the best food source of omega-3 fat is breast milk with its average omega-6 to omega-3 ratio of 2:1. For older infants and children the best food source of EPA and DHA omega 3 fats is fatty fish like wild caught salmon, tuna or halibut. Like breast milk, wild fish has a 2:1 omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. Flaxseed oil, nuts and nut oil also contain omega-3 fat in the form of ALA. Because a child may not be able to efficiently convert ALA to DHA and EPA, seafood sources of omega-3 are preferable. Kid-friendly fish recipes can be found in “The NDD Book”.
For kids who refuse to eat fish, omega-3 supplements are available in oils, soft gel capsules and soft chews. These supplements are frequently flavored to hide the fishy taste kids may find unpalatable. When looking for supplements, watch for the words “Safe Source” to guarantee the oil is third-party tested, certified for purity and free of environmental contaminants. Also consider supplements that do not contain artificial colors and sweeteners.
For more information about omega-3 fatty acids for children, you may find my Livestrong.com article helpful. http://www.livestrong.com/article/535779-recommended-dosage-of-omega-3-for-kids/