Omega 3 fatty acids
They are bioactive molecule that selectively concentrate in the brain and have profound effects on all parts of the body and is very important for maintaining good cardiovascular health and healthy immune system. These are remarkable fatty acids for the fact that they cannot be made by the human body and can be obtained only through diet. It is very important for critical brain development.
Sources of Omega 3’s in the Diet
There are two sources of omega 3’fatty acids in the diet, marine fatty acids which are biologically active long-chain fatty acids (EPA and DHA) they come from fish oils, fish flesh and generally from the sea.
Another source is shorter chain fatty acid which come from Flax oil and are 18 carbon long.
Omega 3’s Role in Children’s Health
Omega 3’s are really good every age, but especially essential in children since they are in need of healthy brain development. A good dose of omega 3’s in winter months will help strengthen their immune system and keeps colds at bay. The trick is to make kids like it and eat it which is not an easy thing to do. Parents need to find creative ways to incorporate omega 3’s into their diet to keep them healthy.
How to get kids to eat this nutrition powerhouse. Why are Omega 3’s essential for kids?
- They are essential for brain development because of the presence of DHA and EPA which are essential nutrients that feed the brain. Kids on diet rich in omega 3’s scored better at school.
- DHA of Omega 3’s is essential for healthy brain development.
- They are also essential for healthy immune system functions. They prevent inflammation in the body by establishing healthy cell membranes. Kids getting enough omega 3’s in their diet tend to get less sick in winter months.
- They are good for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system and also reduces the inflammation in the body.
How to get these omega 3’s into your kid’s diet:
- Flax oil: It is loaded with omega 3’s, blend a teaspoon into your child’s smoothie or any fruit drink, they might like it.
- Flax seed:Powdered flax seeds which is a rich source of omega 3’s can be used to make muffins, casseroles, soups and to breadcrumbs and made a part of the kids diet.
To incorporate omega 3’s in your kid’s diet first, it is essential to know the list of omega 3 foods. All 3 omega’s EPA, DHA and ALA are found in various food sources.
- Seafood: It is the food group mostly concentrated in EPA and DHA.
- Flax seeds and Walnuts: Excellent source of AlA. Sardines and salmonalso have a good source of ALA.
- Other Omega 3’s foods include: brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and mustard seeds.
- Other vegetable sources of omega 3’s: Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and mustard seeds. Good sources include a wide variety of vegetables (Spinach, collard and turnip greens, kale, green beans, summer squash, and winter squash, romaine lettuce,), legumes.
- Fish (scallops, shrimp, and cod) are good sources of omega 3’s.
Find ways to increase omega 3’s in kid’s diet like some kids like to eat fish if they are covered in bread crumbs, or when made into fish cakes, some like homemade salmon sticks a good source of omega 3’s, pasta salads with canned tuna will get good omega 3’s in diet of the kids.
Introduce fortified juices and eggs
Fortified juices and eggs that are rich in omega 3’s is another way to go. Read labels and see how much omega 3’s are in them. Although it is not likely to get a lot of omega 3’s with fortified beverages it might be the extra step to meet the recommended doses of omega 3’s for your child.