Fish oil has a list of benefits for ordinary children as well as those with special needs. Brain boosting is probably one of the most applauded quality of fish oil for kids. Since most of the brain consists of fat, fatty acids that are found in oily fish are an important component of the brain fat. Omega 3 in particular is essential for the kid’s brain development even before birth. Conditions like depression, dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have in the past been linked to a deficiency in omega 3.
Experiments carried out with fish oil in primary school children for a couple of months produced positive results. The children chosen were those experiencing difficulty in spelling, reading or writing. The improvement over the course of 6 months was impressive, with remarkable progress being made in the areas of short term memory, attention span and hyper activity.
Expectant mothers are also encouraged to take fish oil supplements. Not only does it boost the child’s brain development, it also significantly reduces the infant’s chances of developing allergies. There has been arguments on whether the best way to feed fish oil to kids is through diet or supplements. If a child is consuming oily fish like tuna, sardines, trout or salmon about 2 to 3 times each week, that amount of fish oil is considered adequate.
If that is not available, then fish oil supplements come in handy. The daily intake required may vary from one child to another depending on their conditions, but on average 1000mg is considered appropriate. It is however important to go for only high quality and tested fish oils to avoid the danger of contamination and harmful toxins.
In a research involving about 100 children aged 8 and above, it was discovered that those with lower levels of the omega 3 fatty acids showed more behavioral and learning problems. The results suggested that fish oil affects even the overall behavior of children. ADHD may be difficult to detect in very young kids, but with time it becomes very noticeable. The most visible symptom is that a child fails to pay attention to details be it in class or at home. The child is unable to follow instructions and will tend to avoid any tasks that require focus. He/she is easily distracted and forgetful.
ADHD affects about 5% of school going children and mostly ends up being carried in to adulthood. Most parents rush to stimulants when they notice their kid’s poor performance in class. It is however recommended that fish oil for kids is a better place to start. Although children placed on a dose of omega 3 and omega 6 did not change the motor conduct, improvements were recorded in spelling, reading and behavior after just 3 months.
Autistic children also benefit from fish oil. Autism affects the brain causing impairment and is known to affect 6 out of every 1000 kids that are under 5 years of age. Fish oil improves their memory, verbal skills, spelling and problem solving.
Fish oil comes in a peculiar taste and smell that most children find repulsive thus resist taking it. However with the benefits outlined above, you have to ensure that your child takes it somehow. That daily spoonful works wonders for the brain power; it is definitely worth the effort.