Omega 3: The Facts
Babies deserve the very best in life. This is true for everything, but especially for nutrition. The right nutrients in the right amounts at the right time can help them to grow and thrive.
Omega 3 fats are good for everyone, but do you know how they can benefit your baby?
Up until 2 years of age your baby's brain is still developing at a rapid rate (using 20% of all their energy!) and certain nutrients are needed to help this happen as it should. Our brains are made from 60% fat so the types of fat that your baby eats are very important at this stage of development.
How does Omega 3 fit in?
Omega 3 is the name given to a family of ‘good’ fats. This family is made up of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an ‘essential fatty acid’ which we must get from our diets as we cannot make it ourselves, and longer chain fatty acids including DHA. DHA is especially important for brain, nerve and eye development. We can make DHA from ALA (or get it directly from oily fish), so it is important we have enough of this ALA in our diets to grow normally.
Where does Omega 3 come from?
In infants, Omega 3 comes mainly from breastmilk (the Omega 3 comes from the mother’s stores) or from formula where it is added. It can also be found in certain foods such as oily fish or the oils of nuts and plants. However these are not commonly eaten during weaning.
At HiPP Organic our Omega 3 comes from organic rapeseed oil – a source of ALA which our bodies can convert to DHA needed for brain and nerve development. It is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and has been added to all of our savoury pouches
, and almost all of our savoury jars.
Each jar or pouch contains at least 25% of your baby’s recommended daily intake of ALA, a good step towards their total; and should form part of a balanced diet which also includes other sources such as oily fish and also breast or formula milk.
But isn’t fat bad?
A diet high in ‘bad’ fats such as those found in cakes, biscuits, pastries and crisps is undoubtedly unhealthy. However, some fats, as well as protein and carbohydrates, are all needed in order for a child to grow. Ideally these should be ‘good’ fats (unsaturated) – things like avocado, oily fish and olive oil. They contain a lot of energy in a small amount which is good for tiny tummies that can get full quickly, and are also a good source of certain vitamins only found in fats such as vitamin A, D, E and K. The key is to supply a bit of everything in moderation, ensuring your little one can get the most out of their food to get the most out of life.