Omega 3 is a “magical” fatty acid that is very beneficial for the health of our bodies. Even more so for children who are still growing up. Not only that, omega 3 also has an important role for brain development, so that it can support the future of your child.
Even so, there are still many parents who are hesitant to give omega 3 supplements to their children. Here, everything about omega 3 supplements will be thoroughly peeled, including safe doses and the benefits of omega 3 itself, so you don’t need to be afraid anymore to give omega 3 supplements to the baby.
What is Omega 3?
Omega 3 is a fatty acid that is very important for everyone, especially children. Unfortunately, the body cannot produce omega 3 itself. That is why, in addition to adults, children are also advised to consume foods containing omega 3 and omega 3 supplements.
Omega 3 is divided into three types, namely alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
Usually, omega 3 ALA can be found in plant foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and vegetables.
Meanwhile, omega 3 EPA and DHA can be obtained by consuming salmon fat, bloating, to tuna, or omega 3 supplements.
Omega 3 benefits for children
Many studies have proven the benefits of omega 3 for children, both in the form of food and supplements. The following are the benefits of omega 3 for children who should not be missed.
Relieves symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or ADHD is a common medical condition that can cause hyperactive, impulsive, and difficult to focus children. Several studies have proven that omega-3 supplements can relieve ADHD symptoms in children.
There are as many as 16 studies that also reinforce the benefits of omega 3 supplements in relieving symptoms of ADHD. Omega 3 supplements are proven to be able to help children to improve memory, maintain concentration, facilitate the learning process, and relieve impulsive and hyperactive behavior.
In addition, a study followed by 79 children proved, taking 1,300 milligrams of omega 3 supplements every day, can improve the child’s ability to focus. When children focus on what they do, their performance can improve. Of course this will prepare the Little One to welcome his bright future.
Asthma is a chronic disease that can interfere with children’s activities, especially symptoms that can make it difficult for children to breathe.
Some studies also prove that omega 3 supplements can relieve asthma symptoms that are very detrimental to children.
A research shows, taking omega 3 supplements containing 120 milligrams of DHA and EPA for 10 months, can relieve asthma symptoms in 29 children who were respondents.
Not only relieve symptoms, omega 3 supplements are also believed to prevent asthma in children.
Help your baby sleep well
Poor sleep quality can interfere with the child’s growth and development. When a child lacks sleep, the body can get tired quickly, so that learning activities at school are not optimal.
In one study, 395 children who lacked omega 3, had a high risk of having sleep problems.
Fortunately, omega 3 supplements come as a “savior” to this problem. The results of the study were explained, consuming 600 milligrams of omega 3 DHA for 16 weeks, can improve the quality and hours of sleep of children.
However, further research on the benefits of omega 3 supplements to improve children’s sleep quality is still needed.
A number of these studies explain, taking omega 3 supplements every day with the right dose, is considered safe and does not cause adverse side effects.
Various explanations about the benefits of omega 3 for children can also be a reference for parents to no longer be afraid to give these supplements to children.
Benefits of omega 3 for brain development of children
The benefits of omega 3 not only improve sleep quality, relieve symptoms of ADHD, or relieve asthma symptoms. In fact, the benefits of omega 3 can also help children’s brain development, you know.
Apparently, omega 3 fatty acids can improve brain function, especially in remembering, learning something and honing the ability of computational thinking as a basis for visionary children.
In a study that lasted for six months, 183 children who ate food containing omega 3, experienced an increase in learning ability and verbal memory.
In another study, 33 boys who consumed 400-1,200 milligrams of omega 3 per day, experienced increased activation of the prefontral cortex (the brain region responsible for the ability to focus, control impulses, and make plans).
What’s more, omega 3 can prevent depression and bad mood in children, so that brain development is maintained.
Omega 3 can form brain cell membranes. In fact, he also emphasized that omega 3 contains antioxidants and can prevent inflammation, so that brain health is maintained.
Foods that contain omega 3
There are many foods that contain omega 3. Plus, foods that contain omega 3 are “abundant” in the market or supermarket. While you are currently undergoing physical distancing, you can also buy it online.
Not only fish, foods that contain omega 3 are very diverse, so children do not get bored with the same food.
The following are foods that contain omega 3 that can be given to your child:
- Mackerel (0.59 grams DHA and 0.43 grams EPA)
- Salmon (1.24 grams DHA and 0.59 EPA)
- Sardines (0.74 grams DHA and 0.45 grams EPA)
- Chia seeds (5,055 grams ALA)
- Walnuts (3.346 grams ALA)
- Edamame (0.28 gram ALA)
If your child is not happy to eat a variety of foods above, the solution is omega 3 supplements.
Omega 3 supplements for children and exact dosage
Omega 3 supplements for children are considered safe, if given in the right dosage. Therefore, the right dose is the key so that the benefits of omega 3 can be absorbed properly.
Keep in mind, age and sex determine the exact dose of omega 3. So, not all children will have the exact dose of each.
Not only that, various types of omega 3, such as ALA, DHA, and EPA also have their exact doses.
The following is the right dose of ALA omega 3 supplements according to your child’s age and gender:
- 0-12 months: 0.5 gram of ALA per day
- 1-3 years: 0.7 grams of ALA per day
- 4-8 years: 0.9 gram of ALA per day
- Girls 9-13 years: 1 gram of ALA per day
- Boys 9-13 years: 1.2 grams of ALA per day
- Teenage girls 14-18 years: 1.1 grams of ALA per day
- Teenage boys 14-18 years: 1.6 grams of ALA per day
For omega 3 types of EPA and DHA which are usually found in omega 3 supplements, consuming 120-1,300 milligrams per day is believed to significantly improve children’s health.
In addition to Omega 3 supplements, parents may also provide other essential multivitamins to support children’s growth and development.
You should consult with your doctor before giving omega 3 supplements to children.