Everything has a growing season. For a baby’s brain, it more than doubles in the first year of life, and within the first 3 years of life 85% of brain growth has occurred. A baby’s brain contains Omega-3 fat and most of that fat is DHA, a brain-nourishing nutrient. That’s why DHA is important for your child early in life.
Your baby gets DHA from the foods you eat while pregnant – as well as from your breast milk if you breast feed. But the amount of DHA your baby gets depends on how much is in your diet. To increase the amount of DHA your baby gets, try adding more fatty fish to your diet such as salmon or Atlantic mackerel or eating foods like DHA-enriched eggs. You might also talk to your doctor about a DHA supplement.
DHA-enriched infant formulas are an easy way to give your baby DHA. In fact, 9 out of 10 doctors who would feed infant formula to their own children would use a DHA-enriched formula. It is a practical way to support normal brain development during your baby’s critical first year.
Admittedly, food rich in DHA may not be popular with many kids. Other Omega-3 fats are found for example in flaxseed and walnuts. But only a small amount of these consumed fats are converted to DHA when eaten. As you can see, it’s not always easy for a child to get the DHA that helps support normal brain development.
DHA-enriched infant formulas and toddler drinks offer an easy way to add DHA to your child’s diet to support normal brain development in children under the age of 3.
“Mothers need to be aware of the importance of including DHA in their diet during pregnancy and following birth, ensuring their infants are getting this important nutrient through breast milk. If a woman is not breastfeeding her baby, she should choose an infant formula that contains DHA.”
– Dr. Peter Nieman, Alberta pediatrician
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