Omega-3 fatty acids are not only safe for children, but essential fats needed for growth and development.
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the development of the brain and nervous sys as well as the cardiovascular system. Omega-3 fatty acids have several other roles in the body including regulating immune function and decreasing inflammation. These fatty acids may also help manage conditions such as attention deficient hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, asthma, eczema and obesity in children.
The best forms of omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids are usually in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a much less efficient form of omega-3 fatty acids.
Oily fish are particularly high in EPA and DHA forms of omega 3 fatty acids. Fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, and herring are both high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in heavy metals such as lead or mercury. Other sources of omega-3 fatty acids such as flax seed, walnuts, and chia seeds contain the ALA form of omega-3 fatty acids.
Supplementing with an omega-3 fish oil can be helpful for children especially if they are picky eaters or do not like eating fish. Supplementing with a high-quality fish oil may help children improve attention, decrease asthma symptoms as well as provide the essential building blocks for a healthy brain and body.