Toddlers are known to be in the stage of significantly fast-paced body growth. During this growth phase, their bodies experience gradual anatomical and functional changes as they get acclimatized to new functions. Hence the need to fortify them with DHA supplements for toddlers as they grow.
Due to that, these toddlers need all the nutritional support they can get. The reasons for this are straightforward. First, they now have a body nutrient composition that is independent of their mothers.
Secondly, their bodies may not fully synthesize all the nutrients they need to grow properly. Finally, their growth rate is very rapid; they need more support and less reliance on the body. A very important yet often neglected nutrient form is omega 3 fatty acids.
These nutrients are very important for the proper development of some major organs like the eyes and the brain.
A significant type of omega3 fatty acid in the human body is DHA. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a major biochemical component of the retina, human brain, cerebral cortex, and skin. Naturally, this fatty acid is synthesized by the human body in little quantities.
However, the quantity produced by the body is not enough to sustain the vital organs. Due to that, the body needs a constant supply of external DHA to meet up the physiological requirements.
Food substances that are rich in DHA
As mentioned earlier, the body needs an adequate external supply of DHA. Therefore, let’s examine dietary sources of DHA
- Grass-fed meat
- Dairy products
- Coldwater fish
- Fish oil
- Hemp seeds
- Cod-liver oil
Each of the food, as mentioned earlier can supply the substantial quantity of DHA needed by the body to function.
Why does your Toddler need DHA Supplements?
1.Â Â Â For the Development of visual capacity
DHA is the major component of the retina and brain biochemistry. Basic biology tells us that when the eyes receive stimuli through the retina, it transmits it to the brain for interpretation. Essentially, you can see because of the interaction between the retina in the eyes and the brain.
By implication, a deficiency in DHA level would impair vision, especially for a toddler that is still developing. Furthermore, the resulting deficiency may trigger major damages that could be permanent.
2.Â Â Cognitive development
Since DHA is a major structural component of the cerebrum, especially the cerebral cortex, it is very important for the development of language and cognition. Therefore, DHA deficiency may trigger stunted cognition and impaired speech production in affected children. In addition, this deficiency may have a lasting effect on the morphology of the child.
3.Â Â Development of motor skills
The cerebral cortex is a central structure in developing a child’s motor skills and reflexes. Also, vision plays an integral role in the motor function of a developing child. These two reasons make DHA important for developing a child’s senses and the corresponding nervous attachments.
Therefore, a deficiency may permanently slow down a toddler’s response to stimuli and the child’s reaction.
4.Â Â Immune system Development
DHA contributes to the overall development of the body’s response to diseases and allergies. It is sometimes a structural component of certain white blood cells, especially those at the first line of defence.
5.Â Â Attention control
DHA balance in the body has been linked to attention control regulation in the study of toddler psychology. This must be due to the connection it has to the overall brain structure of the human body. Therefore, a toddler deficient in DHA is more predisposed to suffering attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Also, a child deficient in DHA are more likely to be on the spectrum of the disorder.
6.Â Â Mental Health Balance
DHA level in the body has been linked to mental health balance in most humans. This further goes through to the developmental supply of Omega 3 fatty acids during childhood. People who have had deficiency issues are predisposed to mental health issues like depression. This is true, especially for toddlers with tendencies of mental issues (an example of which is autism). Reparative measures are sometimes tilted towards the supply of DHA to make up for the deficiency. This has optimal effect in toddlers.
NOTE â€“ Aside from the general cognitive, mental, and visual functions of DHA, it is also indirectly linked to optimal physical development in toddlers. All of these functions are achieved in conjunction with other Omega 3 fatty acids in the body.
Recommendations On DHA Supplements Intake For Toddlers
Like every other nutrient in the human body, there are certain thresholds for DHA in children’s bodies. When the nutrients pass this recommended level, they may become toxic even to the organs they are supposed to be beneficial to. These recommendations are given based on the age ranges of toddlers.
For children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years, it is recommended that â€“ for optimal performance â€“ they consume 10-12mg/kg of DHA.
For children around the ages of 2 to 4 years, it is recommended that they consume 100-150mg of DHA (alongside EPA, another type of Omega 3 fatty acid).
What Are The Best DHA Supplements You Could Use For A Toddler
Aside from dietary sources of DHA, you could supplement for optimal body distribution and absorption. However, there are various types of DHA supplement products for toddlers in the market. How do you recognize the best ones to buy? Some of the recommendations written below with help you in that regard;
1.Â Â DHA MCT Oil Almond
This DHA supplement has quite a universal usage as women and children can use it. Aside from the nutritional functions of DHA, this supplement perfectly blends the sweet taste of almond and butter. Furthermore, this product is reputed for its liposomal delivery method for easy digestion and absorption by the body.
Unlike the conventional capsule design of supplements, this product is a liquid form made easy for consumption. Finally, the product is free of the conventional items that trigger an allergic reaction in babies and toddlers.
2.Â ChildLife Essentials Pure DHA
This DHA product is made from fish extracts for the sole purpose of purity. It has a low sugar level and a berry flavor to encourage consumption. It is designed in a capsule form with a slightly lubricated body structure that is easy to swallow. This DHA essential is processed using a distillation that rids it of all potential toxins. It is also free of common allergic items like wheat, soy, and GMO.
Finally, and just as the name rightly implies, it is free of artificial sweeteners, additives, colors, and artificial flavors.
3.Â Omega 3 Gummies for Kids & ToddlersÂ
This DHA supplement design is borne out of the creative initiative of the markers to solve the problem of taste. Instead of pills, they are designed as gummies. Just as you thought, it is the kids’ favorite. As an additional advantage, it has an orange flavor, and it is free from the usual fish oil aftertaste of supplements made from pills.
It is made of Omega 3 + DHA, Glucose syrup, sugar, glucose, corn starch-modified, water, malic acid, natural flavors, sodium citrate, natural colors (annatto and turmeric), coconut oil, and carnauba wax. It is solely plant-based, and it is free of synthetic dyes, flavors, and additives. Finally, it is free of gluten, wheat, soy, and any other form of allergens.
4.Â OmegaVia DHA
This product is a pure plant-based DHA supplement made from fish essentials. The product prides itself in its unflavored design and smooth, easily consumable body structure. The outer part of the capsule body is coated with substances that aid easy digestion and absorption into the body. It is also reputed to be pure and free from known allergens like fish, soy, cheese, wheat, artificial colors, and additives.
5.Â Garden of Life DHA Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplement
This fish oil supplement is carefully processed using multiple distillation processes that concentrate DHA (with a larger percentage) and EPA. It has a strawberry flavor that encourages consumption for children. It is made with consideration for individuals with allergies and food sensitivity issues. It is made free of products like soy, wheat, peanut, etcetera. It also has no artificial additives or ingredients.
6.Â Â Megared Omega-3 Hello DHA Kids
This product stands atop the others when it comes to taste optimization. It combines the flavors of watermelons and oranges in a gummy supplement. This serves as some encouragement to the child to consume the supplement without any extra persuasion. It is made up of ingredients to enhance the balance of nutrients and taste.
For instance, corn syrup, sugar, water, gelatin, and orange juice concentrate for the taste. Also, it is made of fish oil, natural flavors, lactic acid, citric acid, and pectin, colors from fruits & vegetables, d-alpha-tocopherol, mixed tocopherols for the nutrient.
7.Â Phytoral DHA Omega 3 Gummies for Kids
This is another kid-friendly DHA supplement. It is a pure fish oil-based DHA supplement with fruity flavor (predominantly orange flavor). It is reputed to be made from the finest and cleanest ingredients available.
It is free of allergens like soy, wheat, and peanut. Unlike some other types, however, it is strictly made for infants and toddlers. Therefore, it may pose a threat of serious side effects to the mother if consumed.
Additionally, it also has EPA, another type of OMEGA 3 fatty acid necessary for the proper development of the body.
Have You Read These Yet?
Nutrient balance is essential for optimal mental, physical and psychological development in toddlers. As parents, it should be a priority to ensure that these children get the right supplement to provide the needed nutrients. While choosing, safety and ease of consumption should be the major factors you should put into consideration.