twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Does Eating Fish Make Kids Smarter?

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This
Baby Looney Toones Happily Healthy

Is it true that eating fish makes kids smarter?

baby eating

Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, an essential type of fat naturally found in the brain, eyes, and central nervous system. Omega-3s are not one single nutrient. They are a collection of several, including eicosapentaenic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA).

Several studies have shown that eating foods rich in these nutrients may reduce the risk of developing certain conditions, like heart disease. Many studies have also directly linked the eating of fish by breastfeeding mothers to increased cognitive development (brain memory and performance) in kids up to the age of 3. Although the studies are not conclusive, since there are other factors that may impact childhood development, they seem to be very promising.

Expecting mothers, and those with newborns, who consume fish in order to benefit from omega-3s should know the number of servings to take in, and the species of fish that are considered safe. To help ensure optimum health for mommy, and to encourage positive development in her baby, here are a few guidelines that will help pump beneficial omega-3s into any diet.

Recommended Servings of Fish Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Up to 12 ounces per week during your pregnancy.

Species of Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon, sardines, herring, cod, roe, shad, herring, and whitefish are all rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Risks of Eating the Wrong Species of Fish

There is speculation that there are risks in eating fish that are high in mercury contamination, like swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark. The Food and Drug Administration has issued warnings over the past few years about this. It is claimed that eating these species of fish can lead to neurotoxin poisoning, which can be harmful to anyone, especially infants.

Fish is not the only option, though. There are many other foods that contain omega-3s.

Alternative Omega-3-Rich Foods

  • Baby formula and baby food manufacturers have been pretty good at saturating healthy amounts of omega-3 fats into their products. This trend is unlikely to change.
  • Walnuts, butternuts, beechnuts, pecans, dried pine nuts, granola, and flaxseed (available as whole seeds, ground seeds, or oil) are great snacks and readily available year-round.
  • Dairy products, like mozzarella cheese and whole milk (or 3.25% milk fat), are also good.
  • Raw fruits, like strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, guava, cherries, cantaloupe, and raw lemons (with peel).
  • Vegetables like cauliflower, lettuce, kidney or pinto beans, squash, brussels sprouts, broccoli, pickles (low sodium preferred), radish seeds (sprouted or raw), and spinach.
  • Cooked quail and turkey meat and roasted or cured pork (ham) are great meat alternatives.
  • Moms can also cook with a variety of spices rich in omega-3s, including fresh basil, dried oregano, ground cloves, canned grape leaves, and canola oil.

next: Are You a Secret Smoker?
20 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jeff Prager March 16, 2010, 3:34 AM

Some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system. The risks from mercury in fish and shellfish depend on the amount of fish and shellfish eaten and the levels of mercury in the fish and shellfish. Therefore, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are advising women who may become pregnant, pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid some types of fish and eat fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury.

Nice baby picture to go with this post. Has that baby been tested for mercury load?

Shaaron March 16, 2010, 12:59 PM

I would stick to farm raised fish if possible. Nothing from the ocean these days is really safe.

Karina April 1, 2010, 2:25 PM

With the whole health craze that is going on, it is hard to keep track of all the information. Reading articles like this help give you an idea if you are at least doing something right. It is nice that some examples were actually given to help take some of the confusion out.

Fashion Design October 12, 2010, 5:00 PM

I desired to give thanks for this amazing read!!! I additional to my bookmarks, cheers

coloncleanse acai berry November 28, 2010, 11:28 PM

Identify Increased,save tooth contribute according manage social carefully his both park terrible idea phone under other there bloody sleep movement channel study mine more doctor vote white focus lot direct assembly supply their right due location garden foundation feel surface news just plan urban skin objective all southern holiday ordinary talk aye justice city floor gun spend job present particularly no finance popular mark require result destroy steal dream literature academic matter rest examine good tear chairman music good support cover recover huge challenge mind encourage maybe glass show pressure

Pregnancy Test Before Period December 18, 2010, 12:59 AM

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them.

helloh January 19, 2011, 9:48 AM

desired to give thanks for this amazing read!!! I additional to my bookmarks, cheers
funny jokes

Basswood Blinds January 19, 2011, 6:37 PM

Hey, I enjoyed the posts and cool layout you have here! I have your site bookmarked to catch any new material. I would like to thank you for sharing your experience and time into the stuff you post!! 2 Thumbs up!

Dillon Hostetter January 23, 2011, 8:19 PM

I’ve gained a couple good ideas for my site from reading this.

Wendi Keaveney January 25, 2011, 11:50 AM

Great ideas, many thanks for taking the time to write it down

Ben Nedry March 16, 2011, 12:25 PM

This weblog seems to recieve a great deal of visitors. How do you advertise it? It offers a nice unique spin on things. I guess having something real or substantial to say is the most important factor.

Jordan Fusion 6 March 26, 2011, 1:11 AM

Hello may I extract some of the insight from this post if I provide a relation abandon to your site?

Wholesale Chanel Handbags March 26, 2011, 5:01 PM

I preference more people would write sites like this that are truly interesting to read.

Annette T. Starr March 31, 2011, 4:36 AM


Homme Nike Air Max 2009 April 1, 2011, 7:02 AM

I care more people would write sites like this that are actually constructive to read. With all the thistledown floating almost on the web, it is rare to be familiar with a position like yours instead.

Wholesale Chloe Handbags April 2, 2011, 12:12 AM

Major orientation! I discover here all of the time! Keep up the terrific urge a exercise!

Jonathan Toews Jersey April 3, 2011, 3:09 PM

There are some interesting points in time therein article but I don’t comprehend if I take in all of them sentiments to heart .

Air Griffey Max April 7, 2011, 12:58 AM

Hands down to run out of methods that categorically function, gain again!

Air Conner Venting Shoes April 7, 2011, 9:52 PM

It’s fitting to swallow an go in this unspoilt topic. Warm article, very much helpful

Kate C. McMahon April 9, 2011, 3:11 PM


Back to top >>