DHA For Ages 1 To 3

DHA: You never outgrow the need for it.

DHA, docosahexaenoic acid, an omega-3 fatty acid, is one of the good fats found in the body. Its job is to go straight to tissues, like those in the brain, and keep them functioning to the best of their ability. Think of it as brain nutrition, or like bones need calcium, brains need DHA.

If you're a mom with a child anywhere from ages 1 to 3 chances are your prenatal nutrition included a DHA supplement to begin nourishing your baby's brain before birth; and you passed DHA on in breast milk or enriched formula once your baby was born.

Obviously, all babies outgrow their need for breast milk or formula. But their brains never outgrow the need for DHA. It continues to be important for healthy growth and development beyond infancy, during the early stages of life, when the brain, eyes and nervous system are growing and developing at a rate unlike any other time in the human lifecycle.

It's not just for infants anymore.

DHA is important for brain and eye development and function throughout the life cycle, but is particularly important during the first two years of life and early childhood.* Between birth and five years of age, the human brain increases approximately 3.5 times in mass. (View the clinical research.)

Fortunately, awareness of how DHA affects toddler health and the developing brain is growing and more attention is being paid to including DHA as good for toddler nutrition.

Powering that brainpower.

To support all that brain, eye and nervous system development, your child needs a constant supply of enough DHA.* But children and healthy foods aren't always on the same page. Children are picky. They have unbalanced eating habits, food allergies, and there have been FDA warnings about eating certain fish. You can't expect children to get what they need from their diets. Small wonder the average American child only consumes about 30 to 50mg of DHA per day.

The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends a daily dose of 70 mg DHA for children from 1-3 years.