Home > Infant Corner: Developmental Support
Infant Corner: Developmental Support
by Dave Foreman
My 8 year old daughter Amanda claims that children are "zero" if they haven't reached the age of 1. Whether your child is "zero" or not, you need to provide him (or her) with the right nutrients to support development. Omega-3s from fish (most importantly DHA) have been catching a ton of press lately. I consider DHA a critical supplement for breastfeeding mothers and bottle-fed babies.
DHA provides added support for both visual and mental development. DHA naturally occurs in breast milk and is now added to many infant formulas. If you are nursing your child, I suggest adding an Omega-3 from fish to your supplement program. The baby is robbing you blind (no pun intended) and perhaps not leaving enough for your own needs. (In fact, I believe that if all pregnant women used enough Omega-3s during pregnancy there wouldn't be any postpartum depression.) To assure yourself (and your child) sufficient amounts of this critical nutrient, take 2-3 grams of Omega-3s (from fish) each day. For those children who are being bottle fed, make sure your infant formula contains DHA. If not, consider following these recommendations for supplementing your child's everyday diet:
Infants (1-18 months, or up to15 lbs)
32 mg/lb EPA+DHA per day
Children (1.5-15 yrs)
15 mg/lb EPA+DHA per day
The health benefits from using Omega-3s from fish are critical for your infant's development. I can personally say that I am the dumbest person at my dinner table, probably because my children were breastfed by a mother taking Omega-3s. Carlson Laboratories and Nordic Naturals both make great-tasting liquid fish oil products for children. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's serving suggestions, and take the advice of your pediatrician for the dosage that is right for your child.