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Exploring the Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in toddler growth

Escrito por: Christian Kent Aguillon

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Tiempo de lectura 5 min

We know it's not always easy to get the right nutrients into your toddler's diet, especially with the hustle and bustle of daily life. Whether it's through a smoothie for breakfast, a snack, or even exploring supplements, we're here to help make this important task as easy as ABC.


Keeping it simple and stress-free is our goal, so your little one can grow up healthy and strong, without turning mealtime into a challenge. Talking about omega-3s for toddlers, it's all about giving their brain a little health boost.


If your little one doesn't like fish, no worries—we've got lots of other ways to make sure they get these essential nutrients. That's why we're keen to share some practical, everyday tips to make omega-3s part of your routine.


Let's make it simple for your little ones to enjoy the benefits of omega-3s, supporting their growth every step of the way.

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

Omega-3 fatty acids are available in three main types. Incorporating a variety of these sources into your family's diet, especially during baby-led weaning, ensures everyone gets their needed share of each omega-3 type.


At their core, omega-3s act as a protective layer for cells. They are key components of cell membranes, providing essential support for cell growth, regeneration, and structural integrity—vital for the health and development of our children.

These are three primary types of omega-3s:

  • Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA)


    Found in plant sources like flaxseeds, walnuts, and canola oil.
ALA
  • Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) & Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)


    Mainly found in fish and their oils.
EPA

Fish don't naturally produce omega-3s. Instead, they accumulate these fatty acids by consuming microalgae and phytoplankton, the original synthesizers of omega-3s.


Although our liver can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, it does so inefficiently—potentially converting less than 15% of it. That's why consuming foods rich in EPA and DHA directly or considering supplementation is recommended to ensure adequate omega-3 fatty acid levels in the body.

Sources

Omega-3 Fatty Acids food source

To increase omega-3 intake, some food products like eggs, yogurt, and milk are fortified with these essential fatty acids.


The top dietary sources of DHA and EPA, key types of omega-3 fatty acids, include oily fish like:


  • Salmon

  • Sardines

  • Mackerel

  • Herring

  • Anchovies

  • Trout

  • Tuna

When serving fish to children, ensure to remove all bones to prevent choking risks.


For kids, omega-3 fish oil supplements are an option. For those on a vegetarian or vegan diet, supplements derived from algae provide a plant-based source of DHA and EPA.

Can My Toddler Benefit from Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements?

Absolutely! Especially if your little one isn't a fan of oily fish, which is packed with omega-3s vital for their sight and brain development. While there's no harm in supplementing, it's not necessary if they're enjoying oily fish at least weekly.


Omega-3 fatty acids are more than just a dietary supplement, they support everything from eyesight to brain health. Some studies suggest they might even boost intelligence, memory, and focus.


You might have also heard about omega-3s potentially easing conditions like eczema or asthma. While they're not a cure-all, they can contribute to managing symptoms as part of a broader health strategy.

Should I supplement my toddler's diet with additional vitamins?

Official guidelines advise that children under five should take daily vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C, and D. If you're also giving your toddler fish oil supplements, it's important to monitor their vitamin A intake to avoid excess.


For guidance or if you have questions, your pharmacist can provide assistance and reassurance.

When Should You Consider Omega-3 Supplements for Your Kids?

Think of supplements as your nutrition safety net. This is very helpful if your family doesn't manage to eat fish 2-4 times a week. They're especially handy for picky eaters or kids who just say "nope" to fish.


For kids dealing with things like ADHD, autism, skin issues, asthma, or allergies, omega-3 supplements can be a game-changer. They help tone down inflammation and give a little extra love to the brain and nerves.


With so many fish oil options out there, you might wonder which one to pick. The key is to look for ones that pack a punch and are squeaky clean. Cheaper options might save you some dollars, but they often skimp on purity and concentration.


Brands that are a bit pricier, setting the gold standard for purity and giving you more omega-3s in every spoonful.
Choosing the right supplement can make a big difference. It's all about finding that sweet spot between potency and purity to give your child the best support for their growing body and brain.

If your toddler is turning their nose up at fish or you're looking for an extra boost for their brain development, TruHeight Toddler Brain Growth Gummy could be just what you need. These yummy gummies make getting those all-important omega-3s easy and fun. They're specially made for little ones, helping support their brain and vision health in a way they'll actually enjoy. Perfect for busy families on the go, these gummies fit right into the tips we've talked about for making sure kids get enough omega-3s, even on those picky eating days.

Omega-3 Dosage Guidelines for Kids

While the Institute of Medicine (IOM) hasn't set specific daily recommendations for EPA and DHA, they do provide guidelines for ALA and overall omega-3 intake based on age:

Infants up to 12 months: 0.5 grams (g) of total omega-3 fatty acids

  • Ages 1-3: 0.7 g of ALA
  • Ages 4-8: 0.9 g of ALA
  • Ages 9-13: 1.2 g of ALA for boys, 1 g for girls
  • Ages 14-18: 1.6 g of ALA for boys, 1.1 g for girls

Breast milk naturally contains omega-3 fatty acids, guiding these recommendations for infants. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that children's diets typically include around 40 milligrams (mg) of DHA and EPA from food, with supplements providing an additional 100 mg of ALA daily on average.


Yet, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics emphasizes exploring food sources of omega-3 fatty acids before considering supplements.


The FDA outlines that a child's fish serving size should start at one ounce at age 2 and increase to four ounces by age 11, ensuring they receive the right amount of nutrients safely.

Beautiful Mom kissing her infant girl

Summary

Establishing your child’s health gets enough omega-3s is all about incorporating a variety of sources into their diet. For toddlers who shy away from fish, there are plenty of alternatives like flaxseeds, walnuts, and algae-based supplements.


It’s about making small adjustments to fit your family's lifestyle while focusing on your child’s health and development. The effort you put into ensuring they receive these essential nutrients can have a big impact on their brain development, learning, and overall well-being.

FAQ’s

What are omega-3 fatty acids and why are they important for toddlers?

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fats for toddlers' brain development and vision health. They are found in various food sources and are important for the structural integrity of cell membranes, supporting cell growth and regeneration.

How can toddlers get omega-3s without eating fish?

Toddlers can get omega-3s from non-fish sources such as flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds, and canola oil. For vegan diets, algae-based supplements provide a plant-based source of DHA and EPA.

Are omega-3 supplements safe for toddlers?

Omega-3 supplements can be safe for toddlers, especially if they don't regularly consume oily fish. It's important to select high-quality supplements and consult with a healthcare provider for safe dosage.

What are the recommended omega-3 dosage guidelines for toddlers?

For toddlers aged 1-3, the Institute of Medicine recommends 0.7 grams of ALA (Alpha-Linolenic Acid). There are no specific daily recommendations for EPA and DHA, but incorporating a variety of omega-3 sources is advised.

How should I choose an omega-3 supplement for my toddler?

When choosing an omega-3 supplement, look for high-quality options that prioritize purity and concentration. TruHeight Toddler Brain Growth Gummy is designed specifically for toddlers, supporting brain and vision health with a formulation that's both safe and enjoyable for children.