A new player in the omega-3 market is Calamari Oil. It is ecologically sustainable and extremely high in beneficial DHA. Calamari oil is not only safe for children; it provides essential nutrients for their growth and development.
Why Kids Need DHA
Approximately 60% of the human brain is made up of fats; of this 40% of it is docosahexaenoic acid or DHA. From 25 weeks post conception to 2 years of age the amount of DHA in an infant’s brain increases thirty times (from 3000 nmol/g to 10 000 nmol/g).
When DHA is taken during pregnancy, it aids in the development of the brain and retina membranes of the developing fetus. When DHA isn’t present in adequate quantities during rapid brain growth (early childhood), emotional and intellectual development can be affected.
That is why DHA is one nutrient absolutely required for the development of the sensory, perceptual, cognitive, and motor neural systems during the brain growth spurt.
DHA provides a number of important health benefits to children, including:
- Supports normal cognitive function
- Supports brain and eye development and function
- Supports a healthy heart
Median intake of DHA for 4-8 year old Australian children is just 5.1mgs per day which is well below recommended levels of 150mg per day. Doses of 150mg per day of DHA can help support the development of the brain, eyes and nerves in children up to 12 years of age.
Research Shows Improvements in Brain, Memory & Behaviour
Recently published research suggests that for children ages 7-9, who are underperforming in reading, a healthy diet that achieves 600 mg of DHA daily may support improvements in reading, memory and behaviour. Specifically – higher levels of Omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, and DHA in particular, were associated with better reading and working memory performance, and fewer ADHD-type symptoms.
Fussy Eaters & Fishy Meals
As awareness of the importance of DHA continues to grow, more attention is being paid to the fact that young children may benefit from getting more DHA in their diets. What is unfortunate however is the fact that foods rich in DHA, like organ meat, algae and fatty fish are not commonly consumed by young children.
So if your toddler throws tantrums at the sight of a green vegetable and there is hardly any hope when you serve up salmon, there are other ways to supplement their diets.
Breastfeeding mothers should ensure their dietary intake of DHA is sufficient as a mother’s breast milk contains adequate intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Once breastfeeding has ceased or if a mother is unable to breastfeed, infants will need another source of DHA in their diets. Many commercially available formulas are fortified with DHA.
For older children, and especially fussy eaters, calamari oil supplements provide the recommended dose in small easy to swallow tablets. They are safe for children to take and due to the filtration process undertaken during manufacturing have no fishy aftertaste like some other marine omega-3s.
As a quick guideline here is how your child can eat their recommended dose of DHA:
- 150gms of salmon, mackerel or trevalla three times a week
- 150gms of squid or oysters three times a week
- 300gms of dory, flounder, snapper, cod or bass three times a week
- 1 calamari oil tablet daily