School-age child

Omega-3 fatty acids in a child's diet - deficiency symptoms are very common


One of the most important nutrients in the diet of a young developing organism areomega 3 acids. They belong to the group polyunsaturated fatty acids and are substances necessary for the proper functioning of the human body. You can distinguish among themdocosahexanoic acid (DHA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and eicosapentanoic acid (EPA). These ingredients must be in our diet or be in it properly supplemented because the human body cannot synthesize them in sufficient quantities. Let's take a closer look at omega 3 acids, looking for the answer to the question why they are so important for the body, especially the child, and how to properly supplement them.

Why should omega 3 be found in the baby's diet?

The correct amount of omega 3 in the diet is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system, especially the fast-growing child's brain. They perform functions in it not only building blocks, but also participate in the processes of thinking and remembering and facilitate concentration. Omega 3 fatty acids present in the right amount in the diet will not only have a positive effect proper intellectual development, but also for the child's well-being.

Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids also providegood condition of the hair, skin and nails, and are also involved in supporting the work of the retina, and thus also visual acuity.

In addition, they help in the processes regenerative body, especially after diseases, supporting immune functions and silencing and alleviating existing inflammation.

Omega 3 fatty acids also support the proper one the work of the human heart and circulatory system and prevent the development of hypertension and atherosclerosis in later life.

Natural sources of omega 3 acids.

The most known natural source of omega 3 are fatty sea fish such as salmon, halibut, mackerel, cod, herring and eel and sprat. They should often be on the toddler's menu. It is also worth including in your diet seafood, because some of them (shrimp, mussels and oysters) contain a lot of DHA and EPA.

An excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are various types of oils, among others linseed, peanut and rapeseed. By adding such oils to various dishes, e.g. salads and salads, we will not only improve their taste, but also provide a large dose of polyunsaturated alpha-linolenic acid to our body.

For babies, the source of omega 3 is mainly mother's milk, therefore, if the nursing mother consumes the right amount of food (at least 200 mg DHA per day), the toddler will certainly not be exposed to deficiencies. Of course, for babies who are not breastfed, there are special substitute milk enriched with the necessary amount of these polyunsaturated fatty acids.

When and how much polyunsaturated omega 3 to provide to a child?

According to current recommendations, the only group in which the demand for omega 3 can completely cover the diet are infants who are breastfed by mothers consuming the right amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids. In other groups, if the products consumed on a daily basis do not provide the right amount of omega 3, they must be supplemented in the right amount for age.

The first group that may need such supplementation are infants fed modified milk. Correctly, such milk should of course be enriched with polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega 3, but if for some reason the consumption of such milk is insufficient, then depending on the age of the child you need to make up for their deficiency, introducing products containing them into the diet or supplementing them accordingly.

In the age group of 1 to 3 years, the daily demand for omega 3 is 150-200 mg DHA. They can be fully covered by consuming 1-2 servings of fish rich in these acids per week. For older children and adults, the demand is slightly higher and amounts to approx. 250 mg DHA per day.

If you are not able to provide your child with the right amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids in their diet, reach for dietary supplements containing them. Before that, however, consult your doctor about this - he will help you choose the appropriate preparation for your child's age and will recommend its correct dosage.

What is the risk of a deficiency of omega 3 in a child's diet?

With omega 3 deficiency, infants may developatopy, dermatitis and growth inhibition.
When it comes to older children, their deficiency in these acids can manifest themselvesvisual impairment, difficulty concentrating and cognitive retardation. Children with omega 3 deficiency in preschool and early childhood they may also have difficulty maintaining balance and coordination, as well as behavioral problems.

Deficiency of polyunsaturated omega 3 in the diet has negative effect on metabolism, which may result in disorders of fat and carbohydrate metabolism. The consequence of this can beoverweight, obesity and later even diabetes. Because they also play a role in the hormonal economy, it can also be affected, as well as the rest of the circulatory system, on which omega 3 fatty acids have a protective effect.

Now that we have learned how important omega 3 fatty acids are for the proper functioning (not only of the children's body), remember to watch their proper intake in the diet, and if necessary, also the possibility of their supplementation.