The deficiency of DHA has the potential to cause the baby’s mental retardation, difficulty concentrating, limited language ability, susceptibility to digestive and respiratory diseases. Therefore, supplementing DHA properly for babies is extremely important that mothers cannot ignore.
Why are DHA supplements important?
To answer this question, let’s first learn about this substance. DHA stands for docosahexaenoic acid. This is an unsaturated fatty acid belonging to Omega 3 fatty acid group. Because the body is unable to synthesize DHA of this unsaturated fatty acid, it is forced to put into the baby’s body through food.
The role of DHA
DHA is an extremely important nutrient for the formation and brain development of children. This substance accounts for 20% of the brain’s structure, and plays an important role in the formation of gray matter, helping nerve cells to connect better.
Besides, DHA will ensure a faster and more accurate delivery response to the brain. This helps children work more flexibly and sensitively in the brain movement. Besides, this nutrient is a major component in the retina of the eye, accounting for about 50-60% of the structure in this part.
Why do children need DHA supplements?
Not only adults, but children are also subjects that need DHA supplements. For premature or full-term babies, mothers should also provide enough DHA for their babies. By this time, the child has not been able to transfer DHA prefix from food to replace breast milk.
According to experts, there are EFAs (Essential Fatty Acid) in breast milk – a long-chain fatty acid that babies absorb through breast milk. Therefore, it is extremely necessary to give breast milk for up to 24 months. In case your baby is unable to breastfeed, you should seek an alternate source of nutrients that contain similar fatty acids in breast milk such as DHA, DPA, AA.
DHA supplementation for children properly by the age
Depending on the age of the child, the mother should add DHA content suitable for children. Because each baby’s developmental stage requires different amounts of DHA. As recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA):
- From 0 to 1 year: The ideal amount of DHA for children is 70 mg/day. Women who are breastfeeding should get a minimum of 200 mg of DHA daily to provide enough milk for their babies.
- From 1 to 3 years: The ideal amount of DHA for children is 75 mg/day. Because this is the stage that requires DHA to promote brain development as well as vision.
- From 3 to 7 years: The ideal amount of DHA for children is 125 mg/day. During this period, your baby needs to increase the amount of DHA to cater for higher learning needs.
- From 8 years and older: Ideal DHA is 250 m / day. This content is intended to increase the efficiency of information processing as well as increase the child’s ability to concentrate.
DHA content supplement for children by age above is for reference only. If your mother needs this supplement for your baby, you should consult a doctor to have the best choice for your baby.
The ideal time to take DHA supplements
The right time to take DHA supplements also increases the effectiveness of this substance for the body. Mom can refer to the following periods:
Take DHA supplements in the morning
The morning is the ideal time for DHA supplementation. Because after a long sleep, the body of the baby will be in the most refreshing state. You can give your baby breakfast with fatty foods like butter, milk, eggs, fish, vegetable oil …
Supplement DHA to children in the evening
DHA not only supports the development of the brain but also helps the baby’s sleep in the evening to be deeper and better. Thanks to that, I will start the day with a refreshing and energetic spirit.
For any age, DHA is an essential nutrient for the body, especially children. Because most of all, children need this nutrient to nourish brain cells as well as enhance vision. Therefore, depending on the age, mothers should supplement their baby with DHA properly so that they can confidently develop more skills.