How much omega-3 fat do kids need?

Heatlhy fats, especially omega 3 fats, are a hot topic, especially when considering how to ensure your kids are getting enough.
Most of us (let alone our kids) don't get enough of these essential fatty acids that help with everything from brain and eye health to reducing the inflammation that contributes to so many diseases from diabetes to heart disease and Alzheimer's.  In children, the benefits of omega-3s start early:

  • Pregnant women who took 400mg of DHA (a certain type of omega-3) had children who were determined to be healthier overall having less bouts with illness.  
  • A child's intake of omega-3s has also been linked to improved concentration, better memory, hand eye coordination and even as a treatment for ADHD.
  • The best sources of these healthy fats are fatty fish.  Salmon and anchovies are my favorite two options because they're high in omega-3 but aren't high in mercury.  
  • For adults, aim for 2-3 three oz servings per week or a supplement that provides 600 mg of DHA or roughly 2 grams of omega-3 daily.  
  • For children, a few ounces a week is a great start (again, low mercury).  
  • I recently bought a supplement (that also has vitamin D) from Nordic Naturals for children that recommends a 350 mg dose of DHA for my 18 month old toddler.  This will become an expensive daily I'll use it sparingly and try to push the salmon once a week. 

Image via Martha
I've made this salmon cake recipe a few times recently and the two picky eaters of the house really like it.  Sam loves to dip anything/everything so the herb dip is a great addition.  I use whole (or 2%) greek yogurt instead of sour cream for the extra protein and probiotics.   PS, if you think salmon (or any fish) tastes fishy, try soaking it in milk before marinating/cooking it.  It helps.

What is your favorite way to make salmon?  Do share!

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