Good nutrition during pregnancy and childhood is of considerable importance for normal brain development and optimal cognitive function – deficiencies in a few key nutrients, including omega-3 EPA and DHA, iron and vitamin B12, have been estimated to shift the world’s IQ potential negatively by at least 10 points.
Let’s have a look at some of the evidence supporting the value of ensuring optimal omega-3 intake in our children’s diets.
A 2020 study by Teisen et al. showed that with additional omega-3 derived from the diet there were improvements in:
These are all functions and skills that are valuable throughout all life stages, so grasp opportunities to improve them from as early an age as possible!
Bedtime reading happens around the world on a daily basis, and even better when it’s the children that are able to read the books. A three-month trial in 2015 by Sorenson et al in Denmark, where children were fed a diet with increased iron and omega-3 showed that “school performance” improved with increasing Omega-3 levels in the diet. In particular, this was driven by improvements due to reading performance.
Reading in itself is a valuable skill, indeed the United Nations UK believes literacy is a fundamental human right, but there are numerous other benefits:
Above all, reading to and with your children helps strengthen the bonds between you, enjoy it before they’re “too cool” to read with you!
I think we’d all agree that this is one we’d all love to see the benefits of, especially on weekend mornings when the little one’s seem determined to ensure we don’t get a lie in!
A study by Montgomery et al (2014) with children showed that consuming additional omega-3 DHA was a key component in reducing night-time disturbances which allowed participants an average of 58 minutes more sleep per night.
Why is this important you might ask? A good night’s sleep is arguably as valuable as high-quality nutrition and exercise for our health. Good quality sleep is linked to:
The benefits of omega-3 are numerous across all age profiles, but even more so for children. So seek out opportunities to increase omega-3 DHA intake for children, for benefits that can last a lifetime.