When I had my first child, I breastfed him because everyone said that it was better for him and I wanted to make sure I was giving him the best start possible. I learned something from that experience … breastfeeding is hard. I stuck it out for seven months and then switched him over to formula because that was what worked for both of us at that time.
When I had my second child, nearly eleven years later, I knew that I was going to breastfeed again but I also wanted to research the best formulas so that I knew what my options were. While doing my research, I learned about DHA and how important it is for a child’s development. DHA is an omega 3 fatty acid that is found in breast milk (and now added to some formulas) that is the primary structural component of brain tissue. This is why it’s important to make sure your young child is getting enough DHA.
Take a look at these facts found on Ask Dr. Sears…
- Infants who have low amounts of DHA in their diet have reduced brain development and diminished visual acuity.
- The increased intelligence and academic performance of breastfed compared with formula- fed infants has been attributed in part to the increased DHA content of human milk.
- Cultures whose diet is high in omega 3 fatty acids (such as the Eskimos who eat a lot of fish) have a lower incidence of degenerative diseases of the central nervous system, such as multiple sclerosis.
- Experimental animals whose diets are low in DHA have been found to have smaller brains and delayed central nervous system development.
- Some children with poor school performance because of ADD, have been shown to have insufficient essential fatty acids in their diet.
I did end up breastfeeding all of my children, and I also supplemented with formula that contained DHA in some cases. When my children turned one year old, I introduced each one of them to cow’s milk. I wish that there had been a milk with DHA available, because I definitely would have given that to them. Today’s parents have that option, because Neilson has introduced Dairy Oh!, the world’s first fresh milk with 0.01 grams of DHA per cup of 2% milk and 0.02 grams per cup of 3.25% Homogenized milk. Neilson Dairy Oh! milk comes from Ontario dairy cows fed a special diet containing DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid.
I wish this had been available when my children were still toddlers, but I am still using it now. I have a child with ADHD and we already provide him with an Omega 3 supplement, so I believe that Dairy Oh! can only be beneficial for him. Since my children are picky eaters and DHA is found naturally in fish such as salmon, tuna and halibut … they are not likely to be consuming a lot of it without Dairy Oh! Estimates for DHA intakes in Canadian children ages 2 to 4 years of age indicate an average intake of approximately 17 milligrams of DHA per day, while the average North American adult consumes only 78 milligrams per day. These amounts are significantly lower than the suggested adequate daily intake levels. Pregnant and nursing women need to take in even higher amounts than the average adult.
Cooking with Dairy Oh! is a great way to get DHA into your family members, and it’s a fun way to spend time together too! Take a look at this fun recipe for Mini Frittatas.
- 2 medium white-flesh potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
- 9 large eggs
- 60 ml (1/4 cup) Dairy Oh! milk
- 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt
- 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) ground turmeric
- 150 g (5 oz) Saputo provolone cheese, grated
- 125 ml (1/2 cup) corn kernels
- 1 sheet nori seaweed
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Line 6 muffin tins with paper baking cups and spray the cups with cooking spray.
- In a saucepan, boil the potatoes until just tender. Drain and set aside. In a skillet, sauté the diced onion and potato pieces in the olive oil without browning.
- In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and turmeric.
- Divide the onion-potato mixture equally among the muffin cups. Do the same with the provolone and corn, then add the egg mixture. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes or until set.
- Decorate the frittatas with nori shapes, arrange on a bed of alfalfa sprouts and garnish with asparagus tips and carrot flowers.
TIP: Instead of nori, use green or black olives, red peppers, etc.