Getting your kids to take Omega-3 !
Remember those days when you had to chug down Cod Liver Oil and you did it because you had to? These days kids will run a mile if you even suggest anything they think tastes even slightly nasty. When my kids were younger (especially under five years old ) they were pretty stubborn in their refusal if they didn’t like a certain food. They still are !! Omega 3 is great for kids though. Especially in the winter months a good dose of it can help strengthen their immune system and keep colds and coughs at bay. The trick is to get them buy into it and eat it . Over the years I have gotten creative with getting my kids to eat this nutrition powerhouse! So, here are some of my simple tried and tested methods.
Why Omega -3 is good for kids ?
Brain building : Omega -3′s are essential fatty acids that have Vitamins A and D, DHA, and EPA. These essential nutrients help feed the brain and keep the brain healthy. Kids on a steady dose of Omega -3 are found to score better on tests and preschool activities. DHA in Omega -3 is a super essential ingredient for healthy brains.
Build Immune system: Omega -3 will establish healthy cell membranes that prevent inflammation and resist toxins and attack by pathogens. It is specially beneficial for children with allergies. I have noticed that when I give my kids a dose of this nutrient they tend to get sick less often especially in the winter months.
There are various other benefits to this amazing nutrient like cardiovascular benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits etc, but since this post is specific to children I will address the other benefits in another post.
Tips to get them to lap it up !
Flax oil: Loaded with all the goodness of Omega -3 – it’s very easy to blend a teaspoon into a smoothie or shake. Just make sure you don’t add too much. It’s quite tasteless when mixed with a milk based or yogurt based smoothie. With pure fruit smoothies you have to play around with it a bit in terms of quantity and combinations to make sure it blends in. It tastes great with my choco -peanut butter Almond shake and my Mango Pina-colada.
Flax seed: Can be added to muffins, breadcrumbs, casseroles, soups and a lot of dishes. Alway grind the flax-seed to get maximum benefits. Read my post titled ” Fabulous Flax, Feed Into It” to get some tips on using both flax-seed and flax oil. This is perhaps me favorite way to get Omega -3 into their system. I use flax in everything …from banana bread to breadcrumbs ! It is such a versatile super food !
Child Friendly Supplements : The benefit to these are they have a smooth texture and delicious taste. No icky fish burps! My kids will lap up these without a fuss. Great for grown ups too. I myself prefer the unflavored capsules. Compared to the raw stuff I used to take a kid, pills are easy ! You only need one capsule or sachet/ day of the squeeze packs for kids.
Carlton Kids : They have a great tasting line of Omega 3 in all kinds of flavors. My kids love the lemon flavored syrup. When mixed into juice it tastes good! A great place to get it cheaper is at vitacost.com.
Corona Omega -3 : These are squeeze packs where it feels like you’re eating a buttery gel. Good highly digestible form.
Nordic Naturals, Children’s DHA : Another great tasting capsule which comes in different flavors. My kids loved the strawberry flavored version and would ask for more !
There are several other child friendly versions. I have tried these three so I know they have worked for my kids and clients.
**Please note that I have not received any samples or remuneration for recommending these products. I am merely recommending them on my experience with my own kids and my work as a Community Nutritionist with children.
Food sources: Alway good to add a healthy dose of these foods to your family’s diet. They contain moderate to good sources of Omega-3 ! Click on the gallery to view them !
Walnuts, Brazil nuts, Salmon, Sardines, Flax, Brussels Sprouts, Soybeans, Olive Oil, Kale, Spinach and Salad Greens are some of the foods high in Omega -3.
There are a lot of snacks, foods and drinks fortified with Omega-3 that seem to be very popular. These are called functional foods. While I may consume a few of these foods at random, I prefer to incorporate flax oil, flax-seed into my cooking, give my kids the pills and eat more food sources.
My recommendation is to eat these foods and take a supplement as extra insurance. If you have any other ideas to make your children eat and love Omega -3 foods, please share. Would love to hear from you !