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Fish Oil: Kids Should Take the Bait

When it comes to your children, navigating the world of nutrition can sometimes make you feel like a babe in the woods. What may be useful to an adult, may be toxic to a toddler. Kids need plenty of vitamins, minerals, and fats while they are developing, and they may not always get what they need from their food. Fortunately, you can add certain supplements to their diets to make sure nutrients are delivered while their bodies are still forming.

Omega-3 fats are essential for good health. Further, omega-3 fats are very safe and can be taken by all age groups and conditions such as pregnancy. In fact, it is widely recommended that women get a quality serving of DHA while pregnant to help the child in utero.  To generalize, all the benefits for adults also are true for children. In terms of serving size, if an adult takes 3 to 3.5 grams of a combination of EPA and DHA, then a child should take less for sure. Children come in all sizes, so it is a bit hard to be precise in a serving recommendation. The good news is that omega-3 oils are safe and it is hard to over dose on fish oil.

Supplementing your kid’s diet daily with omega-3s is child’s play. Fish and fish oil contains healthy amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. While serving fish is always a boost to their health, they won’t get the amount of omega-3s they need for developmental growth from just eating it alone. Plus, many large fish contain mercury, and doctors recommend limiting intake. So, if you are trying to think of 101 more ways to make your fish recipe more interesting, you needn’t worry. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that kids have two servings of a fish low in mercury, and only one serving of albacore tuna per week, which will probably make them happier about the content of their sack lunches.

On the other hand, a high-quality fish oil is essentially free of heavy metals like mercury and lead, contains healthy amounts of fatty acids, and is completely safe. SFH uses Alaskan pollock because oil derived from this fish is very clean and has a low totox (total oxidation value) level.

The type of fish oil supplement you give your child can impact its strength. It is easier for a child to take a liquid supplement over a large-sized soft gel capsule. SFH liquid fish oil comes in tasty flavors like orange, lemon, and peppermint, all options kids are sure to like. They should take their oil with a meal. They can even mix it in with their food. For instance, you can add a splash to some applesauce, salad, or a smoothie. However, SFH flavored fish oil may be tasty enough that your kid will want to take it on its own.

How much should you give your child? Like with adults, a fish oil dose should be tailored to the health benefit desired. SFH recommends anywhere from 500 to 1,500 milligrams (about half our recommendation for adults) per day, depending on height and weight.

Of course, any child that is allergic to fish or shellfish should steer clear of fish oil or it could open up a whole other can of worms. In addition, kids who are taking anti-coagulants or anti-platelet medications should consult with their primary care physician before taking the fish oil plunge.

By adding omega-3s to their daily diet, it is easy to tip the scales in your child’s favor. Keeping your family healthy is important and with SFH’s high-quality fish oil, your entire family can reap the benefits.