If we were handing out superhero capes to nutrients, Omega 3 just might be first on our list. The fatty acid (commonly found in fish oil—salmon and mackerel are two of the highest sources— flax seeds, chia seeds, and walnuts) provides benefits for everything from the brain to skin, boosting immune systems, heart health, nervous systems, and more. (Now that’s some kind of overachiever!) We know it’s great for adult health care, but what does Omega 3 do for your baby?
In fact, the brain-boosting benefits are even more important for our favorite babies and toddlers, whose brains are growing and developing at the fastest rates. Here are three ways Omega 3 (particularly docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA) benefits your baby:
1. HELPS WITH YOUR BABY’S BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
When we are asked the question, what does Omega 3 do for your baby, our first answer is that it helps with their brain development. Better brain development now—higher test scores later. Giving your baby a developmental boost in everything from hand-eye coordination, language comprehension, and vocabulary can be as simple as supplementing with Omega 3, according to a 2006 study.
2. BOOSTS THAT TINY FOCUS
Studies also indicate that a daily fish oil supplement could be a natural way to improve brain function in children with ADHD, improving behavior, reading, and spelling abilities over time—all without medication.
3. SUPPORTS YOUR BABY’S IMMUNE SYSTEM (HELLO FLU SEASON)
Studies have shown that babies and children who received DHA supplements were not only less likely to catch a cold or the flu, their symptoms were also shorter in duration. Stronger immunity = fewer sniffles for those tiny noses!
Nursing mothers can supplement breast milk with their own DHA capsule, or you can both get the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids by incorporating them into mealtime. Other sources of omega-3 fats include basil, spinach, and broccoli.