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Brain Development & role of DHA for kids

As a mother, it’s an ongoing mission to try to ensure that your child gets all nutrients from his/her diet. While you ensure that your child gets an adequate and nutritious diet for their physical development, it may so happen that you might miss out on some important nutrients for your child’s brain development. One such nutrient is DHA for kids, a key nutrient for your baby’s brain development.

WHAT IS DHA?

DHA or Docosahexaenoic acid is an omega 3 polyunsaturated acid found in the brain. DHA gets accumulated inside the baby’s brain during pregnancy. It is extremely important for supporting healthy brain and vision development in children.

DHA and its importance for your growing child

DHA is crucial for your growing child since it:

● Influences brain functioning in multiple ways like sending messages to various parts of the brain along with forming new connections and pathways for those messages.
● Influences the vision of children as it forms the structural component of the retina.

According to WHO, 2-4-years-old children require about 100-150mg of DHA per day.* Some DHA rich food sources are eggs, fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna), flaxseeds, walnuts and DHA fortified foods.

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How can your child get DHA

A breastfed baby can get the required DHA through breast milk if the mother is on a nutritious and balanced diet. Once a child is weaned off breast milk, you can get DHA from the diet through seafood. You can give about 180gms of seafood to your little one per week, which translates to about 4-5 pieces of fish every week after consulting a Dietitian or a Healthcare professional.

Another alternative to ensure that you are providing the right amount to your child consider opting for milk additive with added DHA for your child’s growth and development.

Reference: https://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/FFA_summary_rec_conclusion.pdf

https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/why-not-flaxseed-oil