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DHA for Kids

I’m sure it no surprise that you have heard the buzz about DHA/Omega-3/fish oil supplementation for our kids! It has become a known supplement that is important to include in our daily routine. But, why exactly is it important for our children? What kind of fish oil is best? On the blog today, we are going to go into the nitty gritty on everything you need to know about fish oil supplements for kids.

What is Omega-3 (DHA)?

Omega-3 fatty acids are considered Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). They are essential because our bodies cannot produce them, instead we must get the fatty acids from our diet. These fats are incredibly important as they make up every single cell in our body! Two common types of omega-3 are known as EPA (eicosapentaenoicacid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).


In order to get enough omega-3 from our diet we would need to consume salmon or sardines a couple times a week and our bodies would need to properly absorb the fish in order to obtain the value of the oils. Therefore, most children do not get enough omega-3 in their daily diet. So consuming a fish oil supplement is key for our children’s health!

What are the benefits of DHA in fish oil?

There are a multitude of benefits of fish oil, especially for our children. Here is a list of benefits:
• Supports healthy brain development
• Supports growth and development
• Helps to improve vision acuity
• Helps to treat skin concerns (ie. eczema)
• Helps with mood disorders (ie. anxiety, depression)
• Helps children with ADHD


DHA, in particular, has been shown to help with brain development in our children. A study done at Oxford University showed higher levels of DHA helped with reading, memory and behavioral problems. Therefore, looking for a supplement with higher DHA than EPA is important for children!

How to choose a good fish oil?

There are a few things to look out for when purchasing a good quality fish oil. The first is the type of fish that is in the product – look for sources of small fish such as anchovies and sardines. The second is making sure the fish oil is in triglyceride (TG) form as this is the form commonly found naturally in fish. If the supplement is in ethyl ester form it is not found in nature and can only be created through chemical synthesis (therefore this ethyl ester form is cheaper!).


So as you can see, fish oil is a great way to provide some extra support to our little ones! As always, talk to your doctor before supplementing with fish oil.

"Taking Omega-3 Every Day Could Help Children Who Have Poor Reading Skills". Mail Online. N.p., 2016. Web. 15 Nov. 2016.

About the author:

Dr. Samina Mitha, ND

Top 4 Child-Friendly Herbs for a Cold

Is your child battling another cold? Tired of your child missing school or their favorite hobbies because of a cold? Luckily there are some safe and gentle herbs that can help to ease a cold so that your child can get back to their daily routine.


Here is a list of our favorite natural herbs and their uses!

1) Echinacea

Also known as the “purple coneflower,” echinacea is one of the most known herbs for preventing and treating a cold. Echinacea is safe to give to children of any age. It has the ability to target upper respiratory tract infections, bacterial infections, and sinusitis. Many people use the herb prophylactically to prevent a cold or flu from occurring.


It is best to take echinacea when you first feel any signs of a cold coming on such as sneezing, cough or a runny nose.

2) Elderberry

Elderberry’s satisfying tastes makes it one of our favorite herbs for kids. The great thing about elderberry is that it is essentially a food making it incredibly safe for children. The best part about elderberry is that is it a potent anti-viral meaning it has the ability to ward off any viral infections invading the body. What elderberry is known for is its ability to help calm a cough down. It is also used to calm a fever and has anti-catarrhal effects, meaning it will stop a runny nose in its tracks.

3) Catnip

Remind you of Hunger Games, doesn’t it? Well, catnip is an excellent herb for children. It is known for its ability to calm the nervous system. It also helps to calm a fever down and assist in colds with digestive upset. Catnip is also known for its anti-spasmodic action meaning it will help to calm down the lungs in a case of bronchitis.

4) Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is an excellent herb for children. It is especially known for its calming and relaxing properties in kids who tend to get nervous or anxious. It also has anti-viral properties and is used to help calm down a fever. Lemon balm can also be used to relieve an achy tummy. Next time, try it as a tea it has a wonderful flavor that will ease a sick household.

Important things to note:

- Always talk to someone who is trained in herbal medicine before giving your child herbs such as Naturopathic Doctor or Herbalist.
- Dosing for herbs will change based on the child’s weight and ages so always follow instructions given by your Naturopathic Doctor.

Godfrey, Anthony and Paul Richard Saunders. Principles & Practices Of Naturopathic Botanical Medicine. Toronto: Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine Press, 2010. Print.
Hoffmann, David. Medical Herbalism. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press, 2003. Print.


About the author:

Dr. Samina Mitha, ND


Top 5 Natural Ways to Prevent a Cold this Season

Don't let the sniffles get in the way!

It happens….you are rushing around trying to get your child’s dinner ready while he is playing with some colored blocks on the floor as you hear a “cough, cough.” You stop what you are doing and think to yourself, “Oh no, is he getting sick.” You come over to your kid and check his temperature with the back of your hand on his forehead. Everything seems fine, but deep down you are concerned. “What if he gets sick.” “What am I going to do?” “Should I take him to the doctor just in case?”


The thought of your little one getting sick can be scary but if you have some key preventative strategies it can help to minimize the chances of your child catching a cold.

Key Signs to Look Out For

Lack of appetite
No interest playing
Child seems more clingy than usual
• Child is lethargic
• Signs of serious illness: dehydration, trouble breathing, high fever

Here are our top 5 natural ways to prevent a cold.


1) Beat the sweets

Sweets can be hard to get away from. Sugar can be very sneaky, as it finds it’s way into your child’s snacks, sauces, and treats. But white sugar can cause our immune systems to weaken. The more sugar we consume the less our immune system is able to fight off any infections that might be on the horizon.


So one of the best things you can do as a parent is to minimize your child’s intake of refined sugar. Consider a whole foods diet filled with brightly colored fruits and vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats and whole grains.


2) Boost your immune system (vitamin C)

One of the best ways to boost your child’s immune system is to have them consume foods high in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for the immune system as it boosts our body’s natural defense to any unwanted visitors!


Foods that are high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwi, strawberries, spinach and kale. Ensuring your child receives their daily intake of Vitamin C is important to maintaining a strong immune system!


3) Get some sunshine

Soak up the sun! When exposed to the sun our skin will create Vitamin D. However, as the colder months come along we tend not to get as much sunlight. Therefore, taking a Vitamin D supplement is essential. Vitamin D is important to prevent a common cold as it works to boost the natural processes of the immune system. This will ultimately help the body to deal with any exposure to infections.


4) Get your zzz's

Sleep is important as it allows the body to rest and recover. During our sleep, our bodies work hard to regenerate and get ready for the next day ahead. Studies have also shown not enough sleep or lack of quality sleep can increase your chances of getting sick if you are exposed to a virus.


Having a routine can be a step towards your child getting a good night sleep. Have dinner, take a bath, read a book and tuck them in. Ensuring they go to sleep at the same time each night will reinforce a routine.


5) Get moving!

One of the best ways to prevent an infection is to participate in regular exercise. Exercise can help to flush out any bacteria in the lungs or airways reducing your child’s chance of getting sick. Exercise also may increase the body’s White Blood Cells (WBC). WBCs are kind of like a personal security guard. They watch out for any invaders and bring in more personnel to help in an attack!


Great way to start moving is to go on walks, ride a bike, go swimming or playing a sport like soccer, basketball and hockey!

Immunity, Exercise. "Exercise And Immunity: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia". N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
"Lack Of Sleep: Can It Make You Sick? - Mayo Clinic". N.p., 2016. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.

About the author:

Dr. Samina Mitha, ND