As a dietitian, I naturally have a food-first approach to nutrition. I take great pleasure in preparing and eating home-cooked meals. I want to encourage and empower other people to experience the taste and nutritional satisfaction that come with eating healthy whole foods.
But my food-first philosophy always hits a snag on the subject of Omega-3 nutrition—especially when I think about doing what’s best for my growing children.
Though the bulk of a child’s neurological connections and pathways are laid down by age 3, the brain remains a work in progress until late adolescence. Throughout those critical years of development, Omega-3 fatty acids are important ingredients that feed brain function and improve learning, memory, focus and concentration, in addition to boosting heart, joint and skin health.
The challenge, however, is that the best-fed child in the world does not receive adequate essential fatty acids, specifically DHA and EPA, from diet alone. More startling, Omega-3s have been identified as the #1 nutritional deficiency among children.
Signs from Science
How important are Omega-3s to healthy development?
In an Oxford University study, researchers tested the total blood concentrations of Omega-3 (DHA and EPA) fatty acids among school children, ages 7 to 9. Among 493 test subjects, their Omega-3 concentrations of 2.45% were associated with below-average reading ability, poor memory and higher levels of behavioural issues.
The measurements, which placed the children below the minimum recommended Omega-3 levels of 4% and well under the optimal levels of 8% to 12%, prompted the Oxford researchers to declare a “robust” association between reading proficiency and adequate DHA.
Your Child’s Healthy Head Start
With research overwhelmingly in support of Omega-3 nutrition, the paths of my life, as a dietitian, as a mother and as someone dedicated to optimal health and wellness, inevitably pointed me to developing a premium Omega-3 formula just for kids.
Instead of encapsulating Omega-3 oils in gelatin, my liquid Sea-licious Kids Cotton Candy is a fresh, concentrated and tasty formula that the body easily digests and readily absorbs for maximum efficacy. Most important, my pure Omega-3 is third-party certified by both the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS) Program and ISURA, an assurance that your child is receiving the recommended minimum dosage (400 mg) of combined EPA and DHA per day. Each teaspoon provides 1500mg of omega-3 plus 400IU of vitamin D3 for healthy bones and teeth. I’ve also added in astaxanthin, the most powerful algae antioxidant that gives Sea-licious its signature red colour. Rest assured, Sea-licious is sugar-free, non-GMO, gluten-free and contains all natural ingredients. My 3 little monkeys have been my little taste-testers from day one and it’s safe to say Sea-licious Kids is “kid-approved!”.
September’s back-to-school/back-to-health routines are an affirmation of decisions in my life and work. It’s also the time of year when I’m reassured that “big food for little brains” can offer every child a healthy head start at school.
Strawberry Shortcake Swirl
As a mom, these are all the nutrients I want my kids to have as I send them on their way to school. Did you know that omega-3’s, EPA and DHA, are two of the MOST important nutrients for school-aged children, helping with memory, learning, reading, concentration, attention and overall brain health.
- cup ice cubes
- 2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or milk beverage of your choice)
- 1 banana
- 2 cups of fresh strawberries • cup cashews
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (or alternatively you could add Vanilla Greek Yogurt)
- 2 tbsp of Sea-licious natural cotton candy
Combine all ingredients in a high power blender. Blend on high until smooth, and enjoy!
FIND MORE RECIPES AND LEARN MORE AT SEALICIOUS.CA.
Written by Karlene Karst R.D., Nutrition Expert, author, Creator of Sea-licious and mom of three.