The three inches of snow last week reminded me that it’s time to start a multivitamin again. This year it seemed like everything has DHA in it. Ever wary of the latest “trends,” I did my own research, and then conferred with our fabulous pediatric nutritionist, Hydee. (Multivitamin is recommended in Northern climes from October through March mainly for Vitamin D since we don’t see the sun much!)
Here’s what she has to say…
“I do think that including omega 3 fatty acids in your child’s diet or supplements is important. They are essential
fatty acids after all. They are important for brain function, normal growth and development. The best way to get them would be from food and that would be to eat fish twice a week, as the American Heart Association suggests. But that just doesn’t seem to happen for most Midwestern families. Omega 3 fatty acids are also present in nuts, seeds, oil, and soy beans. It is also in fortified eggs, bread, and margarine. The amount recommended for adults is 1 gram a day, about the amount in one tuna fish sandwich.
The precise safe and effective doses of all types of omega 3 fatty acids in children has not been established. And there is some concern about mercury contamination of supplements made with fish oil because the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements. Some companies that use fish oil go through the process of third party testing. One company that comes to mind is Nordic Naturals. Yes, this is one that is difficult to find unless you go to the food co-op or other natural health food store. I don’t think you have to purchase supplements there, but I would certainly want to know more about the supplement that contains fish oil before giving it to my child or taking it myself. One way to get around the issue of contamination is to purchase a supplement that contains a vegetarian source of omega 3 fatty acids. The one I give to my child and take myself is LilCritters Omega-3 Gummy Fish (it is non-allergenic and also doesn’t have artificial colors or flavors). “