A significant amount of research shows a link between the consumption of Omega-3 fatty acids and some childhood conditions related to focus, mood and behavior. Studies also show how a majority of children seem to be deficient in these essential fatty acids owing to gaps in nutrition from diet.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 are considered essential fatty acids since they are required for the brain and body to function optimally. However, our bodies cannot make them in amounts that support that kind of functioning which is why they must come from our diets.
It has also been found that the standard American diet does not provide sufficient amounts of Omega-3 which explains the raging deficiency. So what can we do about it? To ensure that your kid is getting adequate level of Omega-3, all you have got to do is look for an appropriate supplement that will help maintain the levels without the risk of over dosage.
This article will help you to find the best Omega-3 supplement for your kid by reviewing the Top 5 products in the market.
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Last update on 2019-05-26 PST - Details
Review Of The Top 5 Omega-3 Supplements For Kids
For those clients who believe in a thorough research before introducing supplements to their kids, we have reviewed the Top 5 products at length and have also included the advantages and disadvantages of the products.
The reviews discuss the key features of the products, the ingredients and the benefits that you can get out of using them.
We have also included a Buyer’s Guide in this article because we don’t want our clients to believe a review article only because we are asking them to but to base their belief on the quintessential features of the products.
Buying The Best Omega-3 For Kids: A Buyers Guide
It is very important to understand that Omega-3 EFAs cannot be produced by the body in amounts that are ideally required. This is why a proper diet containing these nutrients is a must.
However, with kids, there is nothing like a perfect meal because they are generally so distracted while growing up that nutrition often takes a backseat. This leads to a deficiency in Omega-3. How would you identify if your kid is deficient in Omega-3 or not? Read below!
- He or she may show signs of fatigue.
- There may be episodes of forgetfulness.
- They could exhibit signs of a compromised immune system.
- Things like a dry skin, eczema, and loss of hair.
Is Omega-3 from food enough for your kids?
Fish is the primary source of Omega-3. However, with the way fish are bred and raised nowadays, eating fish several times a week might not get you enough EPA and DHA. As parents, you could also be concerned about the environmental factors like toxins etc that are found in fish. All in all, most kids these days have a diet that is not very rich in seafood. This is why supplementation is so important.
In addition to a poor diet, there are other factors that also hinder the proper absorption of EFAs. These factors are poor diet, lower levels of certain minerals and vitamins, compromised immunity and a diet that has more saturated fats like dairy, meat, fast foods, processed foods and fried foods. Moreover, if your kid already has health challenges, he or she will be naturally deficient and will need to take 2-4 grams of EPA and DHA per day. This will be practically impossible to acquire from fish alone.
How To Find Out If The Fish Oil Has Met International Quality Standards?
The only two factors that will help you to find out whether the fish oil has met international quality standards are smell and taste. Before offering the supplement, test it by yourself to find out if the fish oil smells or tastes fishy.
If it does, there is a high probability that the fish oil has been exposed to oxygen during the manufacturing process and has therefore turned rancid. Rancid or oxidized oils should not be given to your kids because they are not healthy at all.
Yet another thing to look out for is a strong flavoring. Fish oils that have string and distinct flavorings added to them tend to be artificially flavored to deliberately suppress the rancid fishy flavor. Ideally, all fish oil manufacturers should offer transparency in their fishing practices and should be respectful towards the environment while acquiring fish oil.
Omega-3 And Your Kid’s Intellectual Potential
Research and studies have clearly suggested how regular intake of Omega-3 can help your child to reach his or her maximum intellectual potential. However, with the lack of this brain boosting nutrient in almost 95% of diets in kids, you could be seriously hampering your child’s full potential.
The obvious benefits of including Omega-3 supplements are:
- Healthier brain development.
- Improved cognitive skills/functioning.
- Improved concentration.
- Development of a healthy nervous system.
- Healthy eye function.
- Healthy retinal growth.
- Improved visibility.
A study conducted in Sweden suggested that school children consuming higher amounts of fish or having sustainably sourced fish oils had around 15% higher grades than those who did not.
Omega-3 Specifications For Your Child
- Type: DHA and EPA are the two key factors to look out for while you are buying Omega-3 supplements for your child.
- Ratio: You should always remember that DHA is the builder while EPA is the maintainer. Your child will require more DHA and you will require more EPA. The ideal ratio DHA to EPA for your child would be 2:1 while the ratio of EPA to DHA would be 2:1 for you.
- Dosage: The dosage of Omega-3 supplements continues to be a highly debatable topic and varies from one doctor to the other. Most recommendations are far too low than they should be. The ideal dosage for a child should be around 1000-1500 mg per day while it should be around 3000 mg for adults on a daily basis.
- Form: Form is yet another important factor when it comes to choosing Omega-3 supplements. To ensure that your child is able to absorb the entire goodness, look for supplements that have free fatty acids, triglycerides and reformed triglycerides and phospholipids.
- Authenticity: The GOED standard for purity is a must while buying fish oil omega-3 supplements. A third part tested stamp also helps to ensure the purity of the product. This suggests that the product is safe for kids to consume.
- Freshness: Omega-3 supplements are prone to fishy smell and taste that suggest that they have gone rancid. The foul smell would not only mean less effectiveness but could also be potentially harmful. Always smell he product before purchasing to check whether it has Vitamin E as an antioxidant to prevent the product from going rancid.
- Sustainability: Smaller fish with shorter life spans are naturally better for fish oil supplements. You can check with the manufacturer whether the fish oil at hand is certified by the Environmental Defense Fund or not.A regular fish oil supplement is enough for kids who are otherwise active and healthy. However, if your child has a compromised immunity or other pre-existing health conditions, then you might need to supplement him or her with larger doses of Omega-3 or concentrated doses of Omega-3.
While a regular fish oil supplement is perfectly suited for your child, do pay attention to the EPA and DHA count because it matters a good deal. Yet another thing to pay attention to is the fact that EPA and DHA are best available in Omega-3 products that are animal based.
Always offer Omega-3 supplements to your kid along with a meal that contains fat that invariably enhances the absorption of Omega-3. The final thing to remember is that Omega-3 supplements are highly perishable so buying them in bulk is not a good idea.
The bottom line is while Omega-3 continues to be one of the most beneficial supplements that you could offer to your child, it is also important to choose wisely.