Your baby’s brain will continue to grow and develop until she’s in her teens, so it’s important to feed that growing mind with healthy brain food. Omega 3 fatty acids are an essential building block for your baby and can actually boost her IQ, so it’s important to find ways to incorporate foods into your child’s diet that are rich in omega 3’s. Children with a low intake of DHA, a certain type of omega 3, can suffer from things like ADHD, sleep problems, aggressiveness, depression, dyslexia, impulsiveness, temper tantrums, and even manic depression. But the good news is, there are ways to make sure our children aren’t lacking in this all-important fatty acid.
If your baby is breastfed, you’ll be supplying lots of DHA. As a nursing mother, you can take omega 3 supplements yourself. (I take some that are derived from the oil of mercury-free fish, but some supplements are made from plant algae instead.) Some baby formulas include this element, but if you’re using one without it, look for one that supplies DHA or ask your pediatrician for a supplement.
If your baby is eating solids, you can feed him things like tofu and plenty of green vegetables to ensure he’s getting his omega 3’s. For babies over a year, soy milk is another great source. Young children and nursing moms can get more omega 3’s through walnuts and flax seed too. (When you use flax, make sure it’s ground first. The outer hull is hard and doesn’t digest well. We run our flax through a coffee grinder before adding a couple teaspoons to smoothies or sprinkled on cereal.)
With a few minor alterations in diet, you can be supplying some powerful brain food for your baby, and he’ll grow to appreciate and love the foods that will benefit his health for a lifetime.