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Benefits of DHA for Children


Our minds are a beautiful thing, and if we don't feed it with healthy foods we can become sluggish, loopy, tired, have trouble concentrating, and even develop a disease. At a recent event, held in the beautiful Scholastic store, I learned about brain health and nutrition and how a poor diet can wreck havoc on their brain, which is also correlated with learning, cognitive ability, social issues, anxiety, and neural development. Let's talk about the benefits of DHA for children.

The event, appropriately called "Building Beautiful Minds" spoke of how DHA, a major structural fat in the brain accounting for up to 97% of the omega-3 fats in it, plays a crucial brain health and development. This includes algal DHA and DHA found in salmon, sardines or mackerel that allow children to have a nourished mind, a mentally engaged mind, a physically active mind and a socially connected mind. I specifically learned about a new study that indicated how Algal DHA improves reading and behavior in underperforming school children. This showed incredible results where supplementation with 600 mg algal DHA for 16 weeks significantly improved reading and even a child's behavior.

Benefits of DHA for Children

Since fish can be challenging to give some children, it was great to learn more about Life's DHA, an algal and vegetarian source of DHA found in many commercial food products, that can easily be added to your child's diet to enhance their brain health. Life's DHA can be found in juice, milk, tortilla shells, pasta sauce and oil, along with some supplements that make it easy to add DHA to your child's diet.

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At the event, I also listened to Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., and author of 'Eat Your Way to Happiness' and 'Food & Mood' speak of how poorly children are eating, and how parents can change their diets by being the example. She noted that kids should be getting 5-8 fruits and vegetables, three calcium-rich foods, 2-3 sources of protein, and five whole grains a day! It isn't always easy but Elizabeth noted that kids are ingesting too much refined sugar, fat, salt and getting only 5% of DHA in their diets that can be altered by making simple changes like always including vegetables at meals, disguise them, consider fruit instead, load them up on healthy food during the day and don't bring home junk!

Another important takeaway for me was that I learned that our brains develop everyday (the crucial stages are during childhood), so children as well as adults need a hearty dose of DHA for proper brain health.

At the beautiful mind event it was clear that brain health (and understanding it) is crucial to keep our kids get the best possible foods that they need every single day. With Life's DHA kids can easily get the important and algae-rich foods that they need to thrive. And if you want our tips for getting your kids to eat fish, check out this post.

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We learned so much at this event!

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