To help your baby grow big and smart, you should focus on giving him or her a variety of foods that will support proper brain development. Most importantly, giving your baby adequate amounts of ALA, EPA, and DHA, which are all types of beneficial fats, starting at 6 months of age and up, will help support your baby’s brain. But what are the best sources for ALA, EPA, and DHA for your baby? Keep reading for a few helpful tips.
A Few Great Sources of ALA
ALA stands for alpha-linolenic acid, and this is an omega-3 fatty acid that plays an integral role in overall health for people of all ages. In addition to supporting brain development and health, omega fatty acids could help build your baby’s cells in a healthy way, as well as regulate your child’s nervous system, strengthen his or her cardiovascular system, and improve his or her immune system and vision. Plus, healthy fats help your body when it comes to absorbing other valuable nutrients from foods.
ALA is found in a variety of plants and their oils. A few good sources include walnuts and walnut oil, soybean oil, kale, and flaxseeds and flaxseed oil. When this healthy fatty acid is consumed, your child’s body will be able to partially convert it into EPA and DHA, which you can learn more about below.
A Few Great Sources of DHA and EPA
Like ALA, DHA and EPA are also important omega-3 fatty acids. DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid, while EPA stands for Eicosapentaenoic acid. DHA plays a vital role in eye development and brain development.
EPA and DHA could be derived from marine sources of fatty fish, such as mackerel, rainbow trout, herring, sardines, and salmon.
Top Foods for Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Experts also recommend the following foods to give your growing child a solid dose of omega-3 fatty acids:
• Fortified peanut butter
• Wheat germ oil
• Canola oil
• Fortified eggs
• Organic soybeans
How Much Does Your Child Need?
When your child is anywhere from 1 year old to 3 years old, he or she should be getting around 700 mg of omega-3 fatty acids daily. Then, from 4 to 8 years of age, your child should get 900 mg of omega-3s daily.
By nourishing your baby’s growing body and mind, you can rest assured that your child will be able to learn and develop new skills with each passing day.